Derby’s match against Charlton Athletic on Saturday was dubbed ‘Charlton Upbeats Day’, a day set up to raise awareness and funds for the Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s Down Syndrome project.
As part of the day, Derby County Community Trust’s Down Syndrome team, the DS Active Rams, were invited to the Valley to take on the Charlton Upbeats on the pitch ahead of the Championship fixture.
The teams got to replicate the full match-day experience of their heroes, lining up in the tunnel and running out to the applause of supporters who had entered the match early.
The Charlton Upbeats, who were celebrating their 10th year together, made their experience show in the first half of the match. Some well worked passing moves linked in with a long range effort saw them come in at half time with the score at Charlton 3 – 0 Derby.
The DS Active Rams continued to work hard in the 2nd half and even managed to pull back a goal back, Jacob Smalley was the one to put the ball in the back of the net and a Daniel Sturridge styled celebration ensued which certainly raised the spirits of the squad.
The Upbeats quality continued to show as did their fitness and strength in depth, a couple of substitutions in the 2nd half helped them towards scoring a further 7 goals and winning the match 10-1.
Despite the result it was a fantastic experience for the Derby side, they were given training tops by the DCFC first team players and were part of a half time presentation which included a parade around the pitch, receiving a standing ovation from both Derby and Charlton Supporters.
Following Charlton Upbeats Day, Disability Officer Lauren Asquith said:
“We’ve had an amazing day out with the DS Active Rams. They’ve all really enjoyed the experience and to play on the pitch before the match was brilliant.”
“The Charlton Upbeats team is a fantastic project and one that we were really happy to support. A massive thanks goes out to the guys at Charlton Athletic Community Trust for giving us the opportunity to come down and be a part of Upbeats day!”
Want to learn more about the DS Active Rams and other disability projects ran by the Derby County Community Trust? Visit: www.derbycountycommunitytrust.com/disability/about.