Sport Haslemere have made disability sport a key focus for the future as we try to make sport a practical and attractive lifestyle choice for disabled people. We want to get more disabled people playing sport.
In the local area Frensham Pond Sailability, Haslemere Tennis Club and Swallows Trampoline Club lead the way and details of these clubs are to be found in The Clubs section. We really need other local clubs to follow their examples and be more inclusive for all levels of ability.
N.B. From experience we know that ‘pots of funding money’ for new facilities suddenly become easier to find, when a club is actively promoting disabled sport!
Some practical advice on setting up a disabled section in your Club?
- The Need. Check with Treloar College Alton, Ridgeway School Farnham, Challengers, Rodborough Special Needs, Stepping Stones etc. to ensure that there is a need.
- Initially we suggest that you coach in the school day where there is a captive audience and your particular sport can then hopefully become of interest. Inviting various ages and various disabilities up to your club in the early days can be intimidating for them.
- These are available from Sport England and other sources, to pay your coaches. Finding coaches in the weekdays can be challenging and paying them may be necessary.
- After a number of weeks, with interest and skills being learnt, it may be time to invite those that are keen up to your club for a trial session –better to be in a group however. In the long term it is rarely sustainable to carry on coaching in the school environment (staffing and financially)and this transition process needs to happen eventually.
- Once you have a small established group of players nicely ‘absorbed’ as best you can into your club, then you should find others who will want to join and you have a success story on your hands!
- The new players could be given a club shirt and become members to make them feel more inclusive. Training perhaps in a separate area if necessary, but please remember that inclusivity is so important.
Transport is always an issue, especially with stressed-out parents, so any help that the club can offer is always welcome. For more help look on the Waverley disability sport website.
Melissa Farnham (the Head) is very keen to promote sport in her excellent school at Hindhead and she has an ‘enrichment’ period between 3.00 and 4.15pm each day and she welcomes any club to send in a coach to introduce a new sport to her children. It could be golf or polo or football or yoga or cricket – anything is possible on their astro pitch and their indoor hall (with poor weather). There are 43 children in the 11-19 year age group at Stepping Stones, as potential future sporting stars for your club!
Lucy Shuker at Stepping Stones
14th December 2017 saw Lucy Shuker coaching 10 or so students at Stepping Stones, to help showcase disability sport in the local area. This is part of the wonderful coaching that Nick Austin and his team from Haslemere Tennis Club have been doing at Stepping Stones. This is to be continued into 2018/19 which is great news.
Lucy Shuker is a three time Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis player and double Paralympic bronze medallist. Lucy made history at the London 2012 Paralympic Games winning Great Britain’s first ever Women’s Wheelchair Tennis medal in the women’s doubles event. Lucy then retained her bronze medal status at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
Lucy is an inspiration to many and is passionate about helping build the profile of disability sport around the world.
- New sailors – Frensham Pond Sailability. Please email Brian Grimwood on firstname.lastname@example.org. Thursday and Saturday morning sessions from 10.00 – 1.00pm. Taster sessions are available. More details at frenshampondsailability.org.uk
- New trampoliners – Swallows Trampoline Club. Please email Lynette Joyce on email@example.com
- New tennis players – Haslemere Tennis Club. Please contact Nick on firstname.lastname@example.org
Accessible Sailing for All
If you have a disability or long term illness and you are looking for a physically active and competitive outdoor sport, why not come along to Frensham Great Pond on any Thursday or Saturday morning between April and October? You will find the water filled with sailing boats! Most of the sailors will have various disabilities, but this does not stop them sailing, either independently on their own, or with one our volunteer helms.