Project information

The DSActive Programme

The aim of DSActive is to provide children and young adults with Down’s syndrome (DS) a fair opportunity to get involved in sports, the emphasis being placed on the nation’s favourite sport, football. The programme was formed in 2006 and has continued to grow ever since.


Charity information

Down's Syndrome Association

Down's Syndrome Association logo
  • Need


    The programme is aiming to combat the low participation levels of people with Down's syndrome in sport and physical exercise.

    Overall; the DSActive programme would like to encourage and actively contribute to our target group's weekly target for sporting activity which is a recommended five hours per week.


    The programme offers at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. The programme also communicates with players, parents and coaches to discourage a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet, offering advice and encouragement for additional sporting activity and a more healthful choice of nutrition.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Implement a minimum of four new teams per year in conjunction with professional football clubs


    » Engage in dialogue with professional clubs and negotiate

    Success will be... ensuring that four professional football clubs create a DSActive team within each 12 months

    Aim 2

    Increase the frequency and participation of our largely popular training sessions and festivals


    » Use various forms of promotion including our database (for mailings), our website and our social networking pages.

    Success will be... ensuring at least 80 new players join the programme annually

    Aim 3

    Offer DSActive players the opportunity to progress through the various player pathways


    » Maintain regular contact with other sporting bodies including the FA and Special Olympics in order to recommend players

    Success will be... aiding the recruitment of players with the condition to other teams and competitions

    Aim 4

    Offer participants the chance to become a coach themselves through a coach ability programme


    » Pursue planned 'Coach Ability' style programme which will be pioneered in 2012 (FA approved).

    Success will be... demonstrating the coaching ability of players with DS by securing at least part-time coaching-assistant work within football clubs

  • Impact




    The project faces risks beyond our current three year funding (which expires in September 2013). Each club within the programme requires on average £5,000 annually to run a team and many teams will require financial help beyond our current funding.


    DSActive will continue to report to donors by providing monthly/quarterly updates about the programme, our existing teams and any teams that have recently/are due to launch. This will be accompanied by pictures and links to any videos/visual updates on our website or that of our partner clubs.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £250,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £75,000 TBC TBC
      £75,000 TBC TBC
      £75,000 TBC TBC
      £25,000 TBC TBC
  • Background


    The project runs nationwide and over 20 football clubs across England and Wales running a DSActive team. Our wide geographical remit includes London, Brighton, Swindon, Cardiff, Coventry and several other towns and cities across the UK.


    Children and young people with Down's syndrome from the age of five upwards will benefit from having a DSActive team in their area. The programme is open to anyone with the condition and is inclusive of both males and females.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Down's Syndrome Association is the only organisation in this country focusing solely on all aspects of living successfully with Down's syndrome. The organisation benefits from a wealth of knowledge in regards to the condition, as well as close links with other likeminded organisations, and in this case, football clubs.

    The DSA also has access to over 20,000 members with the condition, all of whom are accessible by post, allowing for simple recruitment of players for DSActive teams.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Patricia James

    Project Manager

    Scott Pollington Woods

    Football Development Officer