Recently, Mosslands took eleven boys, all on the SEN register as statemented pupils, to a Paralympic sports day organised by Claremount Specialist School at the Oval in Bebington. Many different sports, some familiar and others not so, were available to try on the day. We had the opportunity to try sports wheelchairs and the boys seemed inspired to push themselves that bit more. They worked up a sweat and enjoyed the competitive element of team sport which was inclusive of able bodied and those with disabilities alike.
Following the success of the day we reflected on what our pupils had gained and realised that as a school we don't really do enough to enable those pupils with disabilities to play alongside their able bodied peers due to a variety of constraints. Sport is a great medium to bring people together. We want to be able to offer more interaction and choice and allow all pupils the benefits that sport gives such as confidence, teamwork, competition, fairness, excitement and camaraderie.
The Embrace logo
As a result of this, ‘Embrace at Mosslands’ has been set up as a charity initiative within Mosslands to enable all students no matter what size, age or disability, to participate, and play competitively, alongside their peers. Through fundraising we have already gained help to purchase four sports wheelchairs. Using these and other specialist equipment, which we hope to acquire, we are looking to greatly improve what we can offer all our boys, creating opportunities for able bodied students to play various new and adapted sports alongside their fellow students who use wheelchairs each and every day. The specialist equipment includes new age kurling sets, table cricket apparatus and Boccia balls to name just a few.
We plan to use the sports wheelchairs in conjunction with the PE curriculum to enable all boys to compete in a safe and fun environment. Often, pupils with disabilities can be singled out in their respective PE lessons. They physically can’t join in the same sports as everyone else so we want to be able to offer them the chance to interact as a member of the class by rotating a selection of pupils to join our wheelchair users. This gives them all the chance to come together to enjoy the chairs and any other new equipment in a team setting with a view to entering competitions and events in the future. These will be within school as well as part of a community initiative where other schools, both primary and secondary, will come together at Mosslands to use the equipment to practice and compete on a regular basis.
We used last years Christmas non-uniform day to go towards raising the funds needed. With the help of a few boys, we are looking at other ways to raise the backing and support we need to move forward. With the help of these new funds and continued fundraising we are confident the boys will find enjoyment and excitement from the variety of new equipment and opportunities in the future. They will experience greater participation and inclusion and we are excited as a school to be able to add another facet to our curriculum alongside the facilities we already have available.
Lesley and Tom
‘Embrace @ Mosslands’