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Action all the way in Blackpool wheelchair sport festival

Action from the Wheelchair Sport Festival
Action from the Wheelchair Sport Festival

An array of inclusive sports lay ahead of Blackpool schoolchildren as they headed over to Blackpool Sports Centre in Stanley Park for a wheelchair sports festival.

An array of inclusive sports lay ahead of Blackpool schoolchildren as they headed over to Blackpool Sports Centre in Stanley Park for a wheelchair sports festival.

The event provided the participants with the opportunity to try their hand at a range of wheelchair-based sports, including basketball and handball as well as having lots of fun with games such as ‘stuck in the mud’ and bulldog.

Students from Park Community Academy and Highfurlong joined forces with young leaders from Blackpool Sixth for a series of warm-up activities that allowed them to get to grips with the chairs and to perfect their manoeuvring skills ready for the games.

The event followed on from a teachers’ workshop recently delivered to local schools that gave the candidates a host of ideas on how to incorporate wheelchair-based sports and activities into their PE lessons as well an increasing their awareness of inclusive sports.

The event was organised and delivered by Sport Blackpool’s School and Community Team in partnership with Active Lancashire, Leyland Warriors and Blackpool Sixth.

Miss Slack from Park Community Academy said: “What a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to try something new. It has been wonderful to see the pupils grow in confidence and independence. Thank you very much to the coaches – you do a great job in raising our pupils’ self-esteem and enthusiasm for sport.”

Young Leader Kensin from Blackpool Sixth commented: “I have had an incredible time playing a number of accessible sports with some very inspirational children. From today’s experience, I have learned a valuable lesson of appreciation and respect for all children who use a wheelchair.”

Mark Stephenson, from Active Lancashire, paid tribute to the event in saying “The Inclusive Wheelchair Sports programme aims to break down barriers to taking part in sport using wheelchair sports to engage as many young people as possible in sport and activity. It’s fantastic to showcase different activities that young people can enjoy together.”

As with all Blackpool School Games events the morning came to a close with a presentation of celebration awards that saw all of the talented participants receive their School Games Certificates before showing their appreciation to those who enabled them to enjoy an amazing experience.

Dave Rohman, Blackpool School Games Organiser, said: “Today was inclusion at its best as we had a range of ability levels coming together to play sport and more importantly to have lots of fun. The activities this morning were designed to raise awareness and create opportunities for greater levels of engagement and we smashed it out of the park.”