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Sport brings everyone together on international disability day

Sport brings everyone together on international disability day

Wednesday 04 December 2019

Sport brings everyone together on international disability day

Guernsey has marked the UN's international day of persons with disabilities with a celebration of what it has achieved throughout the year.

The Guernsey Disability Alliance, the Lets Go Mobility Team, and St Martins' school came together for the last time this year to hold one of their regular sport meetings, where the school children meet with others to enjoy their love of sport.

The school has been sending its year fives to the meet-ups for two years now because of how beneficial they have been for all involved. The children partake in around 10 different sports, from tennis to bowling, where the children would both play with the people with disabilities, and also help adapt the games for them so they could play. 

One of the year fives, Louis Bell, said: "It has been really good fun coming here and playing these games.

Another pupil, Charlotte Palmer, added: "It has been a great experience for us because it has meant that we get to experience and be around all kinds of different people. We know everyone here now, for example Colin is blind, so when we play basket ball with him, we have to tap [the backboard] of the net."

Louis also explained how Robbie liked to play bowling, so he and his friends helped set the pins back up for him and return the ball. 

Beau Sejour

Pictured: The sports meet ups have been taking place at Beau Sejour. (File image from Beau Sejour's website)

The GDA's Karen Blanchford said it had been a difficult year for the community because of the pushback against the equality legislation, and so the IDPwD was a chance to forget that, and celebrate what they had achieved. 

"At the moment it's fair to say we have had a pretty rough time with the disability legislation, so far as to say we have had a negative time," Ms Blanchford.

"Today is a celebration though, and hopefully by the time these kids have got to the stage of being politicians, they will have a better understanding of the importance of equality."


Pictured: Karen Blanchford. 

International days are occasions to "educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilise political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity". The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as an advocacy tool.

Sandra De Sousa, a year five teacher at St Martins, said attending the sessions had been very beneficial for her classes.

"It's certainly given the children a lot more confidence, getting to know and interact with these people really gives them a new perspective," she said, "The idea first came about from one of our other teachers, who saw a documentary on children interacting with people in an old people's home - it has had lots of benefits for both sides."

The GDA also celebrated IDPwD with a party in the evening after its AGM. There it gave a number of project updates, including one on where the disability legislation is, and the ERO. 

Pictured top: Images from Chris George. 

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