DISABILITY SPORTS OPPORTUNITIES -PARTNERSHIPS
CAPAG and Dazu
For the past twelve months, Tottenham Hotspur Community has been running mixed gender football coaching sessions during half term and summer holidays in partnership with CAPAG and Dazu. The scheme has an emphasis on football but also includes multi sport sessions incorporating various different games and sports activities. The activities are organised for young people between four and 18 years of age who are predominantly young people with disabilities and their siblings. Many of these young people have not had the opportunity to participate in these types of activities that other young people may take for granted. This was a particular point mentioned by many of the participants when questioned about the success of the scheme with several comments similar to the example below:
“I have only had the chance to play football like this once before, and that was the last time in these sessions with Spurs. I have really enjoyed the programme.”
The courses are geared toward the individual needs of the children, leading to inclusion for all abilities and skill levels. The other activities include football matches, rounders, ball skills to promote hand eye co-ordination and mini training sessions. The sessions are all weather allowing the young people to participate throughout the year.
The scheme has helped immensely in building the confidence of the young people taking part, especially as many had not previously experienced this kind of environment. The format of the sessions, whilst also being well structured, allow for the flexibility that the participants often need. No unnecessary pressure is applied from the coaches for the children to participate but they are encouraged to do the best that they can at all times. All coaches have all been professionally trained in disability coaching and show encouragement throughout all sessions. Feedback from the participants is extremely positive with many comments similar to that below:
“I really enjoyed the sessions, they were lots of fun. I learnt new things like how to play basketball and now I can play it with my friend who learnt how to play too!”
The sessions are now well established and parents often enquire as to whether the sessions will also take place during holiday times. At present we are attempting to secure funding with the aim of having a weekly session for the participants. The demand is there as much of the feedback has been similar to that below:
“I haven’t played much football before and these sessions have been fantastic. I would like to play every day!”
Overall, James Isaac and his team of coaches have offered a service to CAPAG and Dazu that we have never been able to offer before. Both groups are extremely pleased with the way in which these sessions have progressed. We hope we are able to extend the sessions on a more regular basis as all young people involved have thoroughly enjoyed taking part.