In Funding Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety

Project: ‘Feel Inspired’ junior & primary sports camps for disabled children & young people
Grant: £3,000
Fund: Kop Hill Climb

WheelPower sports camps give disabled children the chance to experience wheelchair sport in a safe, engaging environment that caters for their individual needs, abilities and interests. Each sports camp offered 10 different sports; table tennis, shooting, basketball, fencing, cricket, tennis, boccia, archery, badminton and zone hockey. Each individual tries each sport to find an activity they enjoy and can benefit from.

During these two-day sports camps WheelPower supported 192 disabled children and young people. In addition to learning new skills and trying new things, by taking part in team games they had an opportunity to socialise and make friends, all of which help to improve their confidence and self esteem.

The parents have also been able to witness the activities that can support their children’s day to day life, and have been given guidance on where they can continue with these activities. The schools have also had support on how they may be able to facilitate these activities during the children’s school lives.

Case study: Kaela Moore

Michelle Moore and her daughter, Kaela, aged 16 from Buckingham have been attending the Feel Inspired junior sports camps for eight years. Kaela has a sister who is not disabled, and there’s not usually a lot for them to do together, in terms of sport. The camps are a fantastic opportunity for them to get together for some quality sibling time.

Michelle said: “We found out about WheelPower’s disability sporting events via a leaflet that we picked up from Kaela’s school. As Kaela isn’t particularly sporty, I thought this event would give her the perfect opportunity to get some worthwhile exercise – it does wonders for her self-esteem, confidence and positive mental attitude.”

Observing Kaela at the bowls centre based at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. the benefits of the her participation are clear to see – she is playing bowls with a smile on her face, she’s receptive, engaged and mentally stimulated. The social impact is also evident from the way she is interacting with the other participants.

At first Kaela was unsure about joining in. Speaking to her about her experience at Wheelchair Cricket, she opens up and admits that to begin with she didn’t really think she was cut out for it:

“As my turn came up for wheelchair cricket, I just clammed up – I got so fearful, that I couldn’t play properly. It was a real challenge for me to get involved, but the coaches were so encouraging and spotted instantly that I was struggling. They gave me the confidence to know that it was the taking part that counts.”

Kaela’s mum is open and honest about the daily living struggles that they face each day – “It’s always been an uphill battle, ever since Kaela was born. Even simple tasks take longer than the average person to complete, things like, taking a wash, getting dried and dressed, using the bathroom, putting shoes on independently and getting in and out of transport, pretty much everything is restrictive. We look forward to this event each year. If Kaela’s having a tough time at school or in general, just the thought of knowing that these type of events are available to us is indispensable.”

Click here to find out more about WheelPower.