MK Dons Sport and Education Trust (SET) are one of the three largest disability football groups in the country and the Disability Awards Evening is a fantastic example of how the SET engages with the community, providing opportunities that most of us take for granted for people with disabilities.
The SET’s fourteenth annual Disability Football Awards took place on Monday 3rd September and was hosted by BBC Three Counties radio presenter Luke Ashmead and attended by 500 players, families and sponsors as well as MK Dons Manager Paul Tisdale and First-Team Coaches Mel Gwinnett and Danny Butterfield and players Kieran Agard, Joe Walsh and Callum Brittain, who participated in the evening by presenting awards.
The evening started with a very moving video tribute to Dennis Woolford, who received an award for special recognition of service to MK Dons SET - not a dry eye in the house! The evening then moved on to the stars of the show - the MK Dons disability players, volunteers and coaches.
The first half recognised the 20 MK Dons disability football teams. Each team was called onto one of the three stages to receive their awards from Kieran Agard, Callum Brittain and Joe Walsh. MK Dons disability teams range from Under-8s to Adult Premiership level and include all ages and genders. Disability specific teams include deaf / hearing impaired, manual wheelchairs and power chairs. Every player receives an annual award for service and is recognised for their efforts and achievements. The first half finished with recognition of the 50+ volunteers, coaches and team managers without whom none of this could happen.
The second half featured the individual awards to players from each team - Clubman of the Year, Most Improved Player, Managers Player and finally, Players Player voted by the team members.
The evening then finished with four special awards - Rob Quirk Award for Spirit of Community went to volunteer Max Smith. Volunteer of the Year went to young volunteer coach and ex-player, Lewis Hird. Manager of the Year was shared by volunteer coaches Keith Creamer and Mark Day. The most prestigious award of the evening went to Player of the Year, Dominique Mulamba, who has come through the youth ranks into adult football and rounded off his year with impressive performances in the MK Dons FA Disability Cup 11-a-side team.
The event was a huge success and only made possible by our disability sponsors - Impact AV, Suzuki GB, PJ Care, Sainsbury’s, Optifab, MKDSA, Santander, Natale family, Costco, BBFA, AMYA, Leighton and Linslade Rotary Club, Totally Converged Solutions, and FAI Autos/
Anyone interested in receiving further information about MK Dons Disability Football should contact Dean Dixon on 01908 622936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.