Our Sporting Chances programme, which takes part outside curriculum time, specifically targets children and young people from the West Lothian community who have a disability. The programme is open to all disabilities and although a large focus of the activity will be on football we will also cover a wide range of sports and physical activities.
Our Sporting Chances programme is a project that our organisation has spent some time planning and was instigated through our contact with numerous sections of the community who indicated that there was a need for this provision.
Our planning process involved researching the opportunities available to children and young people who have a disability and although some provision was available during the school day at additional support needs schools, there was a need for out of school activity. Those children who had additional needs and attended main stream schools also indicated that they would be grateful for the opportunity to take part in sports activities with their peers.
A lack of out of school provision reduces the opportunities available to children and young people who have a disability which can have a number of effects on the individual, which include but are not limited to:
o feeling disconnected as trying to integrate into main stream sporting clubs / organisations only highlights potential differences and abilities
o loneliness as a lack of opportunity for peer interaction increases the amount of time the individual spends on their own or only with family members
o a lack of confidence and low morale as they don’t feel included or are becoming very aware of their differences
o poor physical and mental health
Participants in Sporting Chances will get to learn and practice football skills, take part in games and score plenty of goals! We will also have multi-sport sessions to allow participants to try other sports.
Sporting Chances aims to improve the health and motor-skills of disabled children in West Lothian by providing the opportunity for them to take part in regular physical activity and receive coaching from trained professional staff who will work with them to break down barriers to taking part and help them have fun.
West Lothian Youth Foundation (WLYF) also aims to make a positive impact on the social skills of the children and young people who attend. This will be done through enhanced use of appropriate communication, better anger management, more empathy for others and a willingness to share and take turns in regularly attending participants.
Most importantly Sporting Chances will provide opportunities that inspire the children attending to achieve and make a difference in their lives, by helping them break down barriers to what they want to achieve. WLYF will provide a balance between support, raised aspiration levels and increased
Our Sporting Chances classes will be created by our trained team of coaches who will ensure that not only will each participant’s individual needs be met, but it will be completed in a safe and comfortable environment.
Our sessions will have a large focus on football however we will also include a range of activities, sports and fun games to make sure that as a participant takes part they are not only increasing their physical activity levels but
they will also learn new skills, gain new social skills, become more confident and not forgetting, have fun.
We will communicate with the participants, parents, careers and partner organisations to ensure that the sessions are beneficial to those taking part. This will provide us with the chance to review and adapt where necessary. It will also allow the participants to indicate what sports or activities they would like to take part in.
Feedback from parents/guardians:
"I would also like to express how fab the coaches are doing with the kids in just a few weeks they are picking up their personalities etc and so nice to see fab interaction from all your guys. Many thanks”
“Thank you guys so much for giving the children this opportunity! Stephen loved it and has spoke about it all day ???? he's already looking forward to next week. Thanks again”
“The boys love there Friday football. ⚽⚽””
“My kids had so much fun was lovely watching them interact with you guys and also making friends”