An Isle of Wight sports Centre has received a boost to provide sport for disabled youngsters.
It was up against a number of other projects on the Island, including Ability Dogs 4 Young People, Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat and Ryde Inshore Lifeboat.
The money for West Wight Sports and Community Centre will go towards providing competitive sports for disabled young people on the Island.
They want to develop opportunities for participation in specific sports such as wheelchair
basketball or rugby, frame football, blind football and seated volleyball.
Centre manager Clare Griffin said:
“What we wanted to do was give them opportunities for structured sports coaching and development and for them to have opportunities to play the sports we all saw at the Paralympics, like blind football, wheelchair basketball, seated volleyball. I’m not saying we’re going to do all those things in one go, but we want to find out what young people want to do and then give them opportunities to have a go at it.”
Clare says she hopes that it will encourage able bodied people to get involved with the activities:
“It is working towards the situation where we are fully integrated and in fact the dream would be that people don’t actually see people as disabled, they see them as another person and there’s just a way of them taking part in the activities, it just might be slightly different to the way other people take part.”
Following the success of Team GB in the Paralympics and the growing popularity and interest, the sports centre have consulted with families who have children with disabilities
Currently, they have had to travel to the mainland to take part in sports sessions for their disabled children and asked for opportunities for them to take part in competitive sports with the ability for progression, not just family play sessions.
The charity organisation also needs to employ a coach to run the sessions and coordinate the project.
Clare Griffin says:
“I will be looking for some one to take on the running of the sessions, so if there’s anyone out there who fancies getting involved with us and working with us to run this session, then I would be very interested to hear form them.”