Yorkshire physios launch sports day for disabled children

Physiotherapists in south Yorkshire held a ‘taster day’ to give disabled children a chance to try out a range of inclusive sports.


Advanced physiotherapist Fran Lace helps five-year old Winnie to try out race-running

The first Ryegate Sport for Life event took place at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on 10 April.

It was organised by paediatric physios Helen Johnston and Sophie Appleby, who work for Ryegate Children’s Centre, part of the Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The day gave children with physical and learning disabilities opportunities to try activities that included race-running, boccia (a precision ball sport), disability football, wheelchair basketball, trampolining, dance and power-wheelchair football.

Ms Appleby told Frontline: ‘It was inspiring to see so many families enjoying the sports together.

‘Families tell us they find it difficult to find sport activities that are suitable for their children, but the benefits of sports are well documented. They include improving physical and mental health and help establish friendship groups by giving parents and carers opportunities to network.’

A survey showed that 88 per cent of the parents would attend a similar event in the future.

‘We received some fantastic feedback from parents and the children and we hope the day will become an annual event,’ said Ms Appleby.

‘With the Special Olympics being held at Sheffield next year it will hopefully continue to raise the aspiration of children and young people with disabilities in south Yorkshire and motivate them to participate in sports.’

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