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Darragh joins in soccer session

Lenihan put smiles on faces for participants from Olive Tree Domiciliary Services

14 March 2018

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Blackburn Rovers Community Trust are continuing to branch out to support the local community by hosting a weekly training session with participants from Olive Tree Domiciliary Services.

Olive Tree Domiciliary Services, which is located in Blackburn, provides care and support to adults with learning disabilities in their own homes and enables them to maintain their own independence and lifestyle.

Once a week, participants from Olive Tree visit the Indoor Centre at Ewood Park for an hour long football training session, hosted by the Trust.

This week’s session however had a slight twist, as Republic of Ireland international Darragh Lenihan was in attendance to show his support.

The defender, who turns 24 on Friday, got involved in the training session and had a great time playing passing drills, penalty shoot-outs and a match at the end.

“It was brilliant to meet everyone,” admitted Darragh. I am always keen to do as much as I can to make a difference in the community.

“All of the first team players participate in different activities involving the community and it is important we keep on doing so.

“Straight away I could tell they all love to play football and they love Blackburn Rovers.

“Sessions like this are important because they bring people together and we are a family club. We strive on having a good relationship with the local community.”

Community inclusion manager Ilyas Patel, who started the partnership with Olive Tree Domiciliary Services, explained how it first started.

“We ran a health football programme at the tail end of 2017,” said Ilyas. “Two lads came along for one of our sessions and they had ties with Olive Tree Domiciliary Services.

“They loved training with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and they wanted to do more of it so they told Olive Tree about us, and soon enough, they were in touch.

“We had a meeting and organised a weekly training session to be set up at the Indoor Centre and we haven’t looked back, it has been great.”

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