Friends of Valence School
Taking powerchair football into mainstream schools to give disabled young people the opportunity to play a fun, fast paced disability sport.
About the project
Funding was required to purchase two new sports electric wheelchairs to be used specifically for powerchair football as part of extra-curricular activity, enabling a greater number of students and young people from the local areas to take part in a team based sporting activity alongside their peers. They wanted to utilise this new equipment as part of their powerchair football outreach programme, taking powerchair football into mainstream schools to give disabled young people in mainstream education the opportunity to play a fun, fast paced disability sport.
Powerchair football is part of our community outreach project to engage with physically disabled young people in mainstream education.
All those involved within this project have a physical disability of some kind, many with severe physical disabilities. Consequently they struggle to access sporting opportunities which are suitable for their needs and abilities. Some may also have a learning disability. Some have a physical disability which as a consequence will limit their life span in comparison to their peers or the average young person.
Results from the funding
The project delivered weekly after school powerchair football sessions for students of all ages and abilities at Valence School. They also delivered extra curricular outreach opportunities across Kent to PD students in mainstream education. They took the equipment to Kent School Games PD events for students to try powerchair football. The equipment was also used to deliver a disability sports day to young able bodied students from across Kent as part of a disability and Paralympic awareness day in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust.
As well as the intended participants we were targeting we also delivered powerchair football activity to 84 young people from across Kent as part of a disability sport and paralympic taster day. This means our project delivered activity to over 150 young people from across Kent. The young people took part in a variety of different disability sport events and were able to experience what it was like to be a wheelchair user as part of the day.
One of our young female students at Valence School said she had previously tried powerchair football in her own chair with an attachment but found that her chair was too slow to take part with her friends in the specific football chairs. Subsequently she stopped playing. Upon receiving funding we were able to provide her with a football specific chair, meaning she could play at the same level as her peers.
She has enjoyed football so much that she now plays for the local powerchair football club who we signpost students to. During the project she began to play competitive powerchair football at a regional league level and scored a hat-trick her debut game! She has also made new friends with her team mates and has socialised away from football with them as a result of attending the club on a regular basis.