North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson visited Highworth Warneford School to hear about an exciting new project being run by four of its students.
Warneford pupils, Lucas, Perrin, Mason and Lucas have worked together with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and the AQA Unlocking Potential project to organise an inclusive sports day at Uplands School.
The four students were selected to take part in the project, and for the last few weeks have worked hard to plan a sports day for young people with disabilities attending Uplands.
Justin enjoyed a very informative presentation which outlined the barriers preventing people with disabilities engaging with sport – including difficulty travelling to events, inaccessible equipment, and limited disability sport events to attend. Having identified these issues, the group carefully considered how they could take these challenges into account and create a sports day everyone could take part in.
Having spent time discussing how they could ensure that all activities were suitable for the young people at Uplands, the group decided they would run a football and basketball session specifically designed to involve everyone. To recognise the efforts of the Uplands students, the group also decided to present certificates and awards to those taking part.
The project has also helped Lucas, Perrin, Mason and Lucas to build confidence and develop key skills – such as teamwork, project organising and planning, and communication skills.
The group was supported by their mentor Jack Rutter, whose footballing career was ended after an unprovoked attack left him with a serious brain injury. Following this set back Jack continued to play football and eventually represented (and captained) England’s Cerebral Palsy Football Team. Jack has also worked with head injury charity Headway, alongside AQA and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, to use his experience to inspire young people.
Following the event, the students will also be attending a reception in London later in the summer - where they hope to meet Dame Kelly Holmes.
Justin Tomlinson said: “This is an issue I am passionate about, and as the former Minister for Disabled People I worked hard to break the barriers which prevent people with disabilities from engaging with sport.
I was fantastic to meet Lucas, Perrin and Mason, as see the hard work and thought they had put into the project. I wish them all the best and look forward to hearing how it went!”