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Children design accessible 'Mini Olympics'

Children design accessible 'Mini Olympics'

Wednesday 03 July 2019

Children design accessible 'Mini Olympics'


Primary school students have been working with disabled members of a local activity group to design accessible games.

Year 5 pupils at St Martin's Primary School have been meeting up with Guernsey Mobility Let's Go for the past two years and both groups took part in a 'Mini Olympics' event this week to celebrate their progress.

"The children have designed the sports for our members, bearing in mind their accessibility needs," explained Karen Blanchford from 'We All Matter Eh?'. "For example, for somebody with a visual impairment maybe their ball has a bell in it so they can hear the ball and understand where it is. With reduced mobility maybe things are higher or lower depending on who is playing, so they have designed all of that which is phenomenal."

Each class in the year worked with the group for one term before all 90 children joined together for the celebratory event at Beau Sejour.

"We have done a lot of activities like hockey, basketball, football and bowling," said 10-year-old Demelza Ashworth. "It's a good experience to see what life is like for people in wheelchairs and [people] that have disabilities. It is fun doing it with them because you get to help them in ways and see what they really can do.

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Pictured: Teams of children and Let's Go members were each given a country to represent.

"We were the first class to do it, so we haven't seen them in ages so it is really fun reuniting with them, playing games with them and having fun with them."

The event was sponsored by Butterfield which paid for the costs to hire the hall.

"The idea was to get children involved and by using children in sport and getting actively involved they can understand little bit more about what restrictions our members have but, maybe more importantly, all the things they actually can do and get to know our members in a completely different way," said Ms Blanchford.

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Pictured: Each of the teams took part in a number of different activities throughout the day.

"It is to reduce fear. People are fearful of people who may be different sometimes and it's been phenomenal for that. We've had so much feedback about the children walking through Town and waving and calling our members by our first names."

Activity Coach for the group, Sue Duport added: "The children bring an energy and an enthusiasm to the group that we certainly, as volunteers, are very envious of! It is a great two-way thing. The adults get a lot of fun from the children being there and the children then get to see them out in the street and it's like best friends really. As some of the kids were greeting the adults when they came in, they know all of their names and the children see beyond the disability."

Pictured top: Pupils of St Martin's Primary School. 

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