In our latest Member Showcase Graeme Chilvers, Health and Recreation Manager at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, tells us how they are getting young people with special educational needs active.
So what does Hinckley and Bosworth Sport and Health Alliance do?
“Hinckley and Bosworth Sport and Health Alliance work in partnership with a local charity, Sport in Desford (SID), to get more people with special educational needs more active, more often.
Our work includes hosting ‘Come and Try it’ days, running monthly inclusive sports mornings, tennis coaching sessions for local special schools, and special targeted sessions for young people with t1 diabetes. We realise that none of this work could be undertaken without fantastic volunteers, so we host training sessions to support and thank our volunteers.”
What role do partnerships play in the delivery of your work?
“Partnerships play a key role in the delivery of our work. Tapping into their experience and expertise, they enable us to deliver a wider range of sporting activities and create more opportunities for young people to try sports that might not otherwise be accessible.
We partner with a wide range of organisations and governing bodies, including the County FA, LTA, Tennis Foundation, professional clubs including Leicester City, Leicester Tigers and Wasps, Leicester Riders Basketball, as well as the Leicestershire and Rutland County Sports Partnership.”
Tell us a little more about your ‘Come and Try It’ days
“To build on the summer activities scheme we ran at two venues across the borough and to promote ongoing activities, we ran a ‘Come and Try It’ day, attracting participants from as far as Northampton.
Activities on offer included:
• Football- Leicester City in the Community
• Rugby- WASPS Rugby Club
• Tennis- Desford Lawn Tennis Club/Tennis Foundation
• Basketball- Leicester Riders
• Boccia – Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council
• Cycle – Free Wheels( a Leicester based charity)
Through the ‘Come and Try It’ sessions we were also able to promote the Health Referral scheme we run in partnership with Leicestershire Public Health where doctors can refer patients for 12 weeks of controlled and supported exercise classes which had a great take up.
Some memorable feedback from one parent was: “My son had a great time. There are few opportunities for trying different sports for people with learning disabilities – a great opportunity, lovely supportive and friendly atmosphere.”
Can you give some examples of how you tailor your offering to engage young people with special needs?
“Grants from the Lawn Tennis Association, Tennis Foundation and Special Olympics enabled us to deliver tennis coaching sessions at special schools and at local tennis clubs in the borough. The grant from the Special Olympics supported two tournaments to enable the players to put all the coaching they received into practice.
Working in partnership with Hinckley RFC and coaches from WASPS RFC, “Play Tag Rugby” has really taken off. Members play tag rugby and through this develop their movement, hand-eye coordination, communication, fitness as well as their understanding of the game, without the worry of physical contact and potential injury. A young coach leads the sessions and he himself is a great example starting as a volunteer and has now moved on to a paid position with WASPS.
Jill Stidever, a BBC Sport Unsung Hero national winner, runs swimming classes for people with special educational needs and some of her swimmers have gone on to represent GB at the Paralympics.
Volunteers make these activities happen and to support and acknowledge the work they do, we nominate them for awards. All of our clubs have volunteers who have supported our work with special needs groups and have been acknowledged at our local sports awards and at governing body sports awards. We are proud to have three BBC Sport Unsung hero national winners supporting our projects.
Working with Sported we have been able to grow our activities and help even more young people with special educational needs become more active more often.”
For more information about Hinckley and Bosworth Sport and Health Alliance, please visit: https://www.hbsha.org.uk/