Coronavirus, an update from Active Cornwall

Disability sports day an incredible success

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Pupils from around the county took part in an exciting multi sports Playground to Podium day at Cornwall College in Camborne on June 25.

Playground to Podium is an exciting project from Sport England and the English Federation of Disability Sport, designed to spot potential talent in young disabled children and give them the opportunity to become successful athletes.

Youngsters from Cape Cornwall School, Looe School, Newquay Tretherras, Pencalenick amongst others enjoyed a day of activities playing football, wheelchair basketball and table tennis.

Each athlete was assessed during the sessions signposted to local sports clubs. Steve Hillman, from the Cornwall Sports Partnership, said: “All the athletes attending today have been chosen because of their talents. They once again haven’t disappointed and we have had some excellent performances with many being highlighted to continue the pathway of Playground to Podium. Who knows we may even have some future Paralympians amongst us!”

Luke Ball-Hymns from Tretherras said: “I have really enjoyed myself today especially the Wheelchair Basketball! I think Playground to Podium is really good because it gives me the opportunity to play sport. Thank you for my medal!”

Sports students from Cornwall College helped on the day; assisting in the delivery of the sessions, refereeing and by providing one to one support and encouragement to the youngsters. To prepare them for the day the student volunteers undertook a short course entitled Disability Inclusion with Steve Hillman, Disability Sports Officer for Cornwall Sports Partnership.

Management in Sport & Exercise Sciences Foundation Degree student Gemma Sanders, 20, from Redruth, who has a hearing impairment herself said: “It’s been a fantastic day, it’s really lovely to be part of this and give the youngsters a chance to have a go at something new. I’ve enjoyed every minute and would definitely do it again.”

Hayley Boulden, 24, from Camborne who is studying towards her Health & Fitness Management Foundation Degree explained: “I want to work with children when I finish my studies so volunteering today has been fantastic experience and a great insight in to this kind of work. The children were all so enthusiastic and it was really rewarding.”

The children received certificates and medals at the end of day, which were presented by Cornish Athlete Mark Stevens, who is a double amputee himself.

“This was a wonderful day, truly inspiring,” said Dave Linnell OBE, Principal of Cornwall College. “The students gain invaluable experience from taking part in events like these and they were all a credit to the College. We have recently been praised by Ofsted for our work in the community and this is a great example of that.”