Sport Inclusion For The Disabled

I think that exercise is important – probably more important for the disabled community because they need to keep their joints healthy, and moving is good for you. I have had years when I’ve done none at all since my compulsory education finished, and I started getting fat. Physical Education was probably my least favourite subject at school as I was always the last dressed in the changing room, which made me feel worse!

Since school PE ended, I’ve tried Zumba, Swimming, Fencing, Indoor Climbing and even joined in with a multi sports club for disabled people. None of those I’ve stuck at very long because of them being costly, on the wrong day or venue or such – I did my Grade 1 Fencing at college which I am very proud of as I always wanted to have a go (my mentality of trying things is due to my mum pushing me to try them, as I know that Autistic people can be scared to try new or frightening things).

Last summer I found a ladies football group (Mumball) and that was for a Monday night – A friend of mine said that I should go and try playing football, since I have been watching the Portsmouth FC Legends play charity games. My reply was that I thought I’d not be fit enough as I don’t run very fast. As people know, my hero in football is Lee Bradbury ex Pompey striker so I was more inspired because of him. So I joined. I was approximately there for around 6 or 7 months (with a few weeks out for holiday) but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it definitely started me getting fitter and I kept off the 1stone of weight I had lost last year. There were a few reasons I finished: 1) Limited parking at venue, so 2) Parents taking me and they feel the cold etc, and 3) Not many people at some of the Mumball evenings so I was knackered after! Finally 4) We hadn’t entered in competitions or anything – All them things made me decide that I should find a new group where I can show my level and ability whilst still running around.

So I found out about a Social Inclusion Group where I could play football and have just as much fun as I did at Mumball. This group is called Victory Hants and it is aimed at disabled people over 16 (both male and female) that want to meet people and play sport whilst it helps to rehabilitate them from issues that have been or are an issue in their lives. At the time of writing, I have been there a month now and I have scored goals in 3 of the 4 weeks I have attended! Soon we will be having our first summer 2017 tournament and I am so excited!

Victory Hants is so important to disabled people because it gives them a purpose and a meaning in life. They can meet new people (which can be scary for the very first time) but soon they get on with everyone because they realise that they are virtually in the same state as them (a disability shouldn’t change who is friends with who and why). This group is also important to the disabled service users because it gives them the exercise they need to stay feeling good in themselves and getting fit so they don’t end up back at square one. We are very lucky to have a group of leaders/coaches that will give up their time to stand in the cold and train us to become better people and more fitter sportsmen (and women!) – Just as long as we don’t injure ourselves!

I love to play football and it’s something that now I am doing, I cannot ever give up!!
Sport is a life line for anyone that wants to feel wanted and included in their life – Nobody should ever be left out because we all have hidden talents that we are just waiting to show to the world!

Why don’t you have a look in your area to see what sport is on offer? You never know, you could end up playing for England at the Special Olympics or a regional tournament at some point.

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