By Tony Dewhurst

Paralympian, Mark Fosbrook, visited a disabled basketball coaching session organised by the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust.

Fosbrook - who represented Great Britain in standing volleyball at the 1996 Paralympic Games - lent his support to the training session in his role as a 'Sporting Champion'.

Mark was born without any feet or ankles and only has two fingers on each hand.

He now plays wheelchair rugby for Wolverhampton Rhinos in the Super League and managed Great Britain's wheelchair rugby team at the 2008 Games.

Mark joined in with the session at a local sports centre, which tested out dribbling and shooting before a full court game.

Leon Wormley, Rotherham United's Disability Sports Development Officer, said: "The Sporting Champion concept allows disabled people the opportunity to meet their disabled sporting role models and aspire to break the boundaries of what is possible."

Rotherham United Community Sports Trust has delivered over £300,000 in disability provision in the last four years for inclusive sport.

With over 7,000 participant visits, Rotherham's Trust has engaged some of the most socially excluded individuals within society.

"Projects like this are great as they give people a route into sport," said Fosbrook.

"This route can be the starting block for future Paralympians."

Meanwhile, former Education Secretary David Blunkett dropped in at Rotherham's New York Stadium.

The Sheffield MP was accompanied by Rotherham Central MP Sarah Champion at the invitation of Rotherham United Community Sports Trust Futsal Team.

Futsal is a fast-paced, small-sided game which relies heavily on ball control as well as player ability both on and off the ball which encourages free play and individual flare.

Rotherham United Community Sports Trust has taken the discipline one step further, though, as a deliverer of the Futsal Education Scholarship. The emphasis is on gaining a BTEC level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport, which is equivalent to three A levels.

The Futsal Scholars attend the Community Sports Trust Education Academy four days a week and gain a multitude of personal skills which can be applied to the game of Futsal and their futures.

Parkgate Shopping Park, who work closely with the Community Trust on a number of youth initiatives, were quick to support the Futsal programme, and now sponsor the players' shirts.

"It was a real eye opener to see how hard these 16 and 17 year olds were working, and the pride that they show in learning these new skills," said Parkgate's Operations Manager Billy Smith.

The Football League Trust continues to be a driving force in the development of Futsal, the world's fastest growing football format. The Futsal Education Scholarship offers 16 to 18 year olds the chance to gain a BTEC Diploma, whilst competing in The Football League Trust Futsal League. By the 2013/14 season, the programme is set to double in size to 1500 students across 60 professional clubs.

To find out more about the Futsal Education Scholarship visit www.tvseducation.com.

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