Maidstone United Raiders collected two titles and two runner-up prizes at the CSIS Disability Football Tournament, held at the Gallagher Stadium yesterday.
Five groups featuring 25 teams took part during the morning and early afternoon, with the winner and runner-up from each presented with medals and trophies by Kevin Holliday, chief executive of the Maidstone-based CSIS.
It’s the third time the CSIS tournament has been staged at the home of Maidstone United and organisers are already planning for 2016.
Maidstone United’s Head of Disability Football Lorraine Humm said: “The tournament was not only a great success but also a celebration of disability football here in Kent.
“You only had to see the excitement and enthusiasm of all the players to know how much playing in fun, competitive matches means to them.
“My heartfelt thanks goes to CSIS. Without their sponsorship it would not have been possible to stage this event and it’s a mark of how much it means to them that Kevin Holliday and his family gave up their time on Father’s Day to come and present the medals.
“I also want to thank the Kent Disability League, all the Maidstone United volunteers who set up the pitches and helped out on the day, and the referees who kept the day running smoothly.”
Following the tournament, the Raiders celebrated the 2014/15 season with awards for clubman, manager’s player, most improved, players’ player and top goalscorer for all 11 teams.
General Manager of Hilton Maidstone Leonardo Gagliano, one of the Raiders main sponsors, helped to hand out the various prizes.
Maidstone United Raiders, the club’s disability section, was founded in 2004 and has grown from a dozen players to more than 150. The section is run by volunteers and relies on sponsorship from local businesses and organisations.
Sponsors include: Carewatch, CSIS, Hilton Maidstone, Kent Event Centre, NMU and Riveroak.
Lorraine added: “It’s been a brilliant season – we’ve seen players come on leaps and bounds, their confidence and self-esteem have grown too. We are always delighted to welcome new players and if anyone’s interested they can email me.”