A HEREFORDSHIRE football fanatic has had an influence in a national plan to increase disability participation in football.

The Football Association have recently introduced a three-year plan to help develop, improve and raise and raise awareness.

Titled ‘Football Your Way’ it aims to demonstrate the FA’s commitment to the equality, diversity and inclusion strategy.

It aims to increase participation, afford a talent pathway, create six senior England teams within para sport, and create sustainable partnerships which ensure the future of disability sport is positive.

Cameron Wood, aged 25 was a key component in its semblance.

Living with cerebral palsy, Wood is a huge fan of Aston Villa and holds a huge passion for the sport.

“It is something that is so exciting, and I was involved from day one,” he said.

“I was invited to sit in on the meetings which formed the plan – and saw the meat and bones before it even had a name.

“It’s great that the FA want to increase disability participation by 2024, which is really important as it’s raising in profile all the time.”

Wood became involved with football in 2016, when he joined the Herefordshire FA youth council.

He stepped away from the group a few years later to pursue other topics in youth voice before returning to vice-chair and subsequently chair of the council pre-Covid.

Wood added that the added exposure, such as the showing of the FA Disability Cup, will help young disabled footballers get in, or back in to football.

“The whole point of Football Your Way is to encourage disabled people into football, especially post pandemic, as some may have been shielding or not felt comfortable meeting others," Wood added.

“I think it is going to continue to develop disability football.

"It’s not going to happen overnight and is going to take time, but the FA has set a precedent that it will happen over the next few years.

“The FA Disability Cup ran on BT Sport, which is such a great step for all of us – and we want it to continue to grow.”

In Wood’s own work, he has excelled and won awards already this year for his achievements within Herefordshire and nationally.

He won the Herefordshire FA Rising Star award in 2021 and followed it up by winning the national award which was heavily influenced by a podcast series he ran for both disability and sexuality.

“It was just amazing to meet the other award winners, go to Wembley and win it,” Wood added.

For more information search for ‘Football Your Way’ on the FA website.