Central Parasport Festival 2018 – GET INVOLVED

This is a great example of partnership working at its best today with the three authorities coming together to really showcase what they can do for young people, give them a taste of different opportunities, different sports and really then try and feed them out to the wider community. So a really really strong strong example. Initially when I got to Balfron I realised there was a bit of a gap in the curriculum for pupils who had a disability so I reached out to my Active Schools coordinator He then put me in touch with Scottish Disability Sport to get some kids along to come to the festival today. The hope is that once the guys come to this today it’ll give them that little bit more interest in some of the things that goes on within disability sport, even just introduce them to some different aspects of sport and kind of show it outside the mainstream school environment. Even for myself it’s a great experience for the kids, but for myself it’s a learning experience and I can then take that into my own teaching practice at Balfron. In terms of the connection between Active Schools and our community providers we’ve got a team of Active School coordinators that will work in partnership with local clubs, but also we’ve got wider sport development staff that will forge that link between school participation and community participation as well. What we try and do is where appropriate and where clubs have got the capacity we try and factor in the transition of young people with a physical disability, working in partnership with that club, into that community environment also. So the next steps if they wanted to get involved within a program that was with ourselves at Falkirk then I would discuss it with Cheryl Obviously we would identify the young person, she would speak to the parents and we would give them that information and then the player would be signposted to our club. Within our Active Schools team we have great support through Scottish Disability Sport. We provide opportunities for teachers and for young pupils in terms of gaining inclusive qualification, but also in terms of supporting national programs national events and national competitions. So the pathway is really unique. 40% of young people are transferring from this festival last year into community activity and that’s hugely important for us to make sure there are opportunities in the community and these communities are supported well enough to be able to include everybody, and that is the strong partnership of the three working together, Scottish Disability Sport coming and running this festival and really being that glue that holds everything together. So for me a really really interesting way of operating a festival and then progressing over into the communities. Well the Parasports Festival has been very positive and I would recommend it to all other parents because it allows you to try lots of different sports So you can see which ones particularly suit your child. So there is racket sports and there’s basketball and boccia. Definitely come along, it’s a great experience and it is probably for the parents as well as the children. Yeah, it’s really good fun to the parents as we because you get to take part and do things with children so its really really good. I thought it was brilliantly organized since she had a lot of fun and I think that’s the main thing for kids with disabilities To see that they stay active and that they can have fun and enjoy themselves just as any other mainstream kids can as well. I did enjoy the cycling as well, it was really hard when you’re pedalling and you go fast it hurts your legs and you need to give your legs a rest. So I am actually quite happy with myself today, it was a tiring day. The advice I’d give to somebody who’s thinking of taking up a new sport is to definitely do it. I think that’s its such a good thing to do. It gives you so many more opportunities and different experiences that can come from it. I’ve also met quite a few friends through it as well which I think is such a good thing and it makes you feel less isolated. You don’t feel so different or unique, you feel like everybody’s like kind of the same which I think is a really good thing.

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