The following story was written by Natasha Catchpole, an upper sixth student at Notre Dame.
As part of their course, Notre Dame Yr. 13 CTEC Sport Diploma students planned, promoted and delivered a fantastic Christmas sports event for two local adult disability groups, Hamara’s Halo and a Beeston based group. The Community group Lead, Garry Giff, started the Beeston based group after his son Matthew was born with Downs Syndrome and runs sports session for individuals with learning disabilities where anybody is welcome aged 20-50, whilst Hamara is the largest ethnic minority organisation in the voluntary and community sector in Leeds. Their aim is to empower adults with learning disabilities and difficulties, as well as people who are on the autistic spectrum, to promote social inclusion, and increase their overall confidence.
The event was split into two-hour long sessions, of football and basketball with the aim primarily being to get as many of the adults participating as fully as possible whilst having fun. Students met and welcomed each participant before running their warmup game of Tag, which both the students and participants took part in. They then ran a mini game of football involving penalties, with each person having an opportunity to explore multiple roles such as the goalkeeper or striker. They then played a game of football with both students and guests partaking. After this they had a lunch break where students handed out drinks and snacks while engaging in conversations with their guests. Afterwards a similar set up was used for basketball including dribbling minigames and a match. The event concluded with each participant receiving a medal for their participation and a Christmas card from the College. Feedback proved the event was extremely successful, so much so that the groups would like to collaborate with the College in the future. As well as giving opportunities to community groups, this event helped students enhance skills such as teamwork, organisation and safeguarding awareness.
Players across the age groups and skill levels joined together, including Billy, an international footballer for England’s disability team. Due to the diversity within the group everyone was able to contribute and fully engage making this a highly successful, enjoyable and interactive event.
All pictures were taken by Natasha.