Crystal Palace DS Eagles and Arsenal North London United marked the forthcoming World Down's Syndrome Day with a day of activities and a match at the Arsenal Community Hub.
During the match on Saturday March 10, players from both sides wore odd coloured socks to join in with Down’s Syndrome International’s #LotsOfSocks campaign.
World Down's Syndrome Day (WDSD) is officially this Wednesday, March 21 and anyone can support the campaign by wearing odd coloured socks and researching Down's Syndrome.
The Palace for Life Foundation's DS Eagles team played a match of four quarters which had to be decided on penalties after it finished as a 5-5 draw. The Eagles came out on top but both teams were awarded medals for their continuous commitment to football participation.
In addition to making new friends and representing Crystal Palace, the players enjoyed a tour of the Emirates Stadium, also having the chance to sit in the Arsenal dug-out and the official press conference room.
Palace for Life’s Disability Officer, Keon Richardson, said: “Events like this are important for our participants to venture out of their comfort zone and meet people from different geographical backgrounds who are just like themselves.
“This will improve their social skills, self-esteem and teamwork; and what better environment than football to achieve it.”
One of the DS Eagles, Louis Killick, said: “The best part was sitting in the Arsenal dug-out and looking out on to the pitch. I had a great day and I’m looking forward to the next trip!” Another of the Eagles, Nathan Peart, added: “I am very happy to have scored a hat-trick and a penalty in front of my brother and all my family.”
To organise friendly matches or for further information on joining the Down’s Syndrome Eagles, contact the Foundation’s Disability Officer Keon Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org