Long serving Highland Disability Sport football coach Peter Corbett is preparing to hand over the reins of the para football side Highland United to Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s Community Development Team. A life member of Highland Disability Sport in recognition of his outstanding service as Manager of Highland United, Peter feels it is time to pass the training and management of the team to the Community Development Team.
Peter has not only trained and managed Highland United for 30 years but together with High Life Highland Disability Sport Development Officer Charlie Forbes, he has worked tirelessly to attract funding to ensure the team is always well prepared and well presented at events at home and abroad.
The Covid 19 pandemic caused a significant disruption to the activities of Highland United, which was formed as a stand alone entity in 2009, and Peter is hoping that the transfer of responsibility to the Community Development Team will spark new life into the para football set up.
In recent months, the Community Development Team have been organising weekly training sessions for more than 20 United junior and senior players and are now ready to take over the team. Since the turn of year, the team has seen an increase of 150% in attendees thanks to school visits and the staging of festivals, such as a recent event at Caledonian Stadium.
On top of this, the team has launched a para school programme engaging weekly with more than 60 pupils at five secondary schools and one primary school and is also working with disability groups such as SNAP & High Life Highland Disability to provide sessions to those who may not have the opportunity to do so.
Peter said: “It has been an honour to manage the Highland United team over the years. They are a great bunch to work with and they get so much enjoyment out of training and wearing the Highland United strip.
“However, the time is right for ICT Community Development Team to assume full responsibility for the team and I have every confidence they will carry on the good work.”
Charlie Forbes recently joined the ICT Community Trust Board of Directors to provide the Trust with a greater insight into para football. Charlie is also President of Inverness Harriers.
He said: “The transfer is a great fit for the Community Development Team, which is the bridge between the football club and the community. We already work with the youngest and oldest members of our community through our community programmes and adding the para footballers is a great addition.”
Highland United draw players from throughout the Highlands and, working with High Life Highland, organise occasional festivals for para footballers in Inverness, Lochaber, Skye and Caithness.