On Thursday 5 December approximately 350 children and young people from 29 schools participated in the second annual Tees Valley Sport Inclusive Ice Festival. The event was aimed at pupils with a special education need or disability and took place at Billingham Forum and was supported by volunteers from EE. A fun-filled day was had by all with pupils able to access the ice in skating boots, shoes or their wheelchairs, with additional skating aids such as penguins, snowmen and sledges available to help everyone enjoy the ice. There was also a visit from Father Christmas and our Tees Valley Sport mascot Valley Cat.
Samantha Kennedy who works as the Special Educational Needs Coordinator at Kader School said that ‘the children had the most wonderful time and we are so pleased to have had this opportunity; the way the variety of needs has been accommodated and catered for was brilliant. What an experience!’
Paul Kreczak coordinated the event for Tees Valley Sport and explained why it is important to hold inclusive events. ‘The benefits of an active lifestyle are well known but the reality is that disabled people are twice as likely as non-disabled people to be inactive. A lack of opportunity to try certain sports is a factor in this so we wanted to provide an event that gave everybody the chance to try ice skating in a relaxed and informal environment with the aim of enthusing the young people to remain active with their families and friends.’
The young people certainly came away enthused. Sarah McDonald from South Bank Primary commented that ‘it was an amazing event; the children loved it and are already asking about going ice skating again.’
Many thanks to all the schools involved and their accompanying staff and volunteers. Watch out for more inclusive events in 2020.
Posted on 13th December 2019