Sport for all: paediatric physiotherapy at a sports camp in south London

Children with disabilities in south London flocked to a physio-led summer sports camp. Becky Flannery and Latisha Lewis report.


In August the community physiotherapists at Evelina London ran a second annual sports camp for children with physical disabilities. Funding was provided by the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, and the Evelina Children’s Hospital Appeal. These week-long events aim to give children with a wide range of physical disabilities and impairments a chance to take part in sporting activities. We offer accessible opportunities to try a range of sports, meaning children can find one that they enjoy.

Children with disabilities are less likely to participate in sports and exercise than their peers. As a result, they miss out on the important benefits that these activities bring, such as improved cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility. People who play sport engage with others and benefit psychologically. 

The camp, which ran from 17-21 August, was available to children aged from five to 12 who were known to the community physiotherapy service. Sports and activities included tennis, cycling, swimming, basketball, gymnastics and boccia (a Paralympic sport in which participants throw balls at a target). All the activities were accessible, allowing children with a range of ability levels to participate alongside their able-bodied siblings.

The children and their parents gave us fantastic feedback. The children told us that they loved all the sports, with cycling and swimming being particular favourites. Comments during the week included
‘I’m having so much fun!’ and ‘this is the best day ever!’. The parents told us their children had a brilliant time, with one saying ‘it was really lovely seeing my child be able to play sports with the other children’. The children and their parents were keen to participate in similar events offering opportunities to try different sports.

Becky Flannery andLatisha Lewis, paediatric physiotherapists, on behalf of the Evelina London community physiotherapy team.

Becky Flannery and Latisha Lewis

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