A Tottenham Hotspur Foundation project which works with young disabled people across north London has been nominated for ‘Project of the Year’ at this year’s national Sportivate Awards.
Working in partnership with PRO-ACTIVE London, the Foundation provides a localised Sportivate programme which engages with young people aged 16 - 19 years old attending special schools, sixth form centres, inclusive youth clubs and disability units.
The project offers professional coaching in football, boccia, cricket and multi-skills taster sessions with the aim of engaging disabled young people who are not currently accessing community sport on a regular basis to develop a long-term involvement in a sport of their choice.
A unique aspect of the programme sees Tottenham Hotspur Foundation coaches link up with their Middlesex County Cricket Club counterparts to deliver an eight week schedule of coaching at each venue, helping to improve a participant’s sporting skills and build their self-confidence.
Following the initial eight week period a number schools have committed to extending their sports delivery through the Sportivate programme, with a high percentage of young people going on to access long-term, sustainable sports opportunities in their local areas.
Each referral is overseen by a Project Ability Co-ordinator who ensures a participant is supported and placed within an appropriate sport at the right level, depending on their ability and individual requirements.
In addition, a member of staff from each school or centre in which the programme runs has been supported to enrol on a Sports UK Inclusive Coaching course to gain new skills in running ability focuses sports sessions.
Matthew Todd, a teacher in Pears Special Resource Provision for students with Autistic Spectrum Condition at the Jewish Community Secondary School (JCoSS) in Barnet, said:
“The students in the Pears Special Resource Provision at JCoSS have immensely enjoyed the partnership we have created with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. To see the students working together and demonstrating social interaction with each other has been great to see. The programme has been an excellent way of developing the students’ social skills and they have progressed both physically and socially from this opportunity.”
James Isaac, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Equalities and Inclusion Manager, added:
“Staff at all the special schools, community centres and sixth form centres in which we work have been pivotal to the success of the project. They have been able to identify and work closely with the young disabled people, allowing them to enjoy and gain everything they can from the programme’s specialist coaching and activity sessions.
“I’m also delighted that the referral process continues to support many young disabled people to access long-term sporting opportunities, showing that there is a place for everyone in local sports clubs and societies.”
For further information about Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Equalities and Inclusion work.
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