"Defiant Sports was created after several years of fighting to support my son, Callum, to find a suitable place in the sporting community. Affected by Autism, Cerebral Palsy and impaired vision, Callum just wanted to play tennis. A simple request? You would think so, but where? I watched my son struggle with the limited opportunities he was offered, unable to fit. I thought sport wasn’t for him. He was lacking in self-esteem, feeling isolated and unhappy. Something needed to be done. Surely, being able to fit in, participate, be part of a team and be happy are opportunities we should all have? Having been given various advice including “Put him in a wheelchair to play” or “we are inclusive, we have a ramp!” We eventually found Tennis for the visually impaired. Callum excelled, in an environment where he could play with others who also had a barrier to participation, his self-esteem soared, he became happy and confident, even started talking to people, this was life changing! Within 6 months he was a National Champion! Still, it’s not a perfect fit, however with Defiant Sports now running the visually impaired tennis along with other activities, whilst constantly growing and adapting them all the time, my dream is to recreate this for everyone else. No one left out, no one excluded, no one expected to ‘fit’ what’s already available. I hope we can help you, we will certainly try." - Loretta Lock, Managing Director.
Defiant Sports grew from this fight of finding a place in sport for Callum where he could be happy, and has continued to grow since. Now hosting sessions every day of the week (except Sunday), ranging from Football for Adults with Disabilities, Boccia and Seated Sports, Home Ed Sport Sessions and of course Tennis for the Visually Impaired, we are finally helping others, like Callum, enjoy the benefits of sport that caters for them rather than asking them to 'fit' in.
Now the biggest issue we face is where to host these sessions, especially when the weather doesn't allow for our outdoor sessions. This means in the colder and rainier months, we are often forced to cancel the majority of our sessions, which once again leaves our players isolated, unhappy and lacking their weekly fun sporting sessions.
That's why our newest mission is to build the 'Defiant Sports Inclusion Hub'! This hub will be open every weekday, being a safe space for people of all ages and disabilities to feel included. Whether that's through one of our regular sessions, or just through popping along to have a cup of tea and chat, we don't mind as long as everyone's smiling! The venue will be one of the first of its kind, not just in Eastbourne, but across the country. By creating the Inclusion Hub, we would be able to host every session, regardless of weather, and spread awareness of Defiant Sports in the community - hopefully encouraging similar projects across Britain.
By donating to us, you will help get our dream of the Defiant Sports Inclusion Hub up and running. This will include everything from putting in accessible toilets, to getting sports flooring and tennis nets - all the big and little things needed for our dream to come to life! Once operational, we hope to also begin a minibus pick-up service, meaning we remove even more barriers to sport by bringing them to us, rather than relying on them to have their own transport and turn up.
Defiant Sports started as a small dream to allow Callum to participate in sport, regardless of his barriers. Now we are growing to bring this same dream to so many others, and the Inclusion Hub would be our greatest step in achieving this. If you choose to donate to us for the start up of this project, you're not only helping our provision of inclusion in sport grow, but you're also bringing happiness to all our players new and old. Thank you for reading our mission, and we hope you are encouraged to help our dream of fully inclusive sport grow.