Hundreds of Children Take Part in University's Inclusive Sports Festival

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Over 250 children from primary and secondary schools in Worcestershire recently took part in the University of Worcester’s annual Inclusive Sports Festival.

The multi-sport event, run over two days in early December, gives children the chance to try out ten different Paralympic sports under the guidance of Sports Coaching students at the University of Worcester Arena.

The students led coaching sessions, guiding the children through sports such as wheelchair basketball, blind football, boccia, table tennis and tabletop cricket.

David Mycock, Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching Science at the University, who co-ordinates the event with his colleague Glyn Harding, Principal Lecturer in Sports Coaching Science, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the University to support the wider community.

“It gives all participants, sports students, children, teachers and organisers an exciting, valuable and inclusive experience in sport.”

The aim of the event is to enhance the Paralympic legacy and embrace the vision of inclusivity. The University Arena is the only sporting venue in the country designed to cater for able-bodied and disabled athletes, while the University runs the country’s first Disability Sports Coaching programme.

One of the students taking part in the Inclusive Sports Festival was Lauren Goater, a second-year Sports Coaching Science and Sport Development student, who said: “The different roles we have during the event - coaching and controlling the activities - are very rewarding for us.

“It contributes so much to our skills in terms of working as a team and practicing coaching, and it’s great for us to see how we contribute to the children’s progress during the day – all they need is a bit of guidance.”

She continued: “It has made me realize how much I actually want to work with children. Seeing the smiles on their faces is amazing!”

Lucy Taylor, who teaches at Tudor Grange Academy, graduated from the University’s Physical Education and Sports Coaching programme four years ago.

She participated in the event with a group of pupils, and said: “It is exciting to be take part in the event on the other side, as a teacher, and think about ways to get more children involved. The idea of the event is absolutely fantastic – it brings everyone together. Our students absolutely love it.”