Disabled Redbridge youngsters given after-school access to sport thanks to partnership

A partnership between Redbridge schools, an Ilford sports club and Vision Redbridge is giving disabled young people the chance to enjoy sport after their lessons each day.

Children with Down’s syndrome, autism and global developmental delay, among other disabilities, have been playing cricket, boccia and ten-pin bowling at Frenford Clubs for Young People in The Drive, Ilford, since last month.

Following a summer in which GB won 120 medals in the Paralympics, Nyeema Yasin, a parent student adviser at Little Heath School, Hainault Road, Little Heath, has been co-ordinating a multi-sports programme.

She said: “We have sports and lots of opportunities [at the school] but something like this after school is different. At the end of the school day they’re so excited, they’re raring to go.”

When the Recorder visited, 13 children aged between eight and 14 were taking part, many for the first time.

Pupils from Hatton School, Roding Lane South, Woodford Green; Oaks Park High School, Oaks Lane, Newbury Park, and Wanstead High School, Redbridge Lane West, Wanstead, are also involved.

Two coaches, including Austin Kentebe from Frenford Clubs, and two learning assistants from Little Heath take the sessions.

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Michelle Wood, a sports development officer for Vision Redbridge, which runs the borough’s leisure services, said: “It’s something we’ve tried in the past at different venues and different times.

“This will run in term time and hopefully link into some kind of holiday programme. We might have one at Easter and one in summer.”

The children’s sessions complement a wider disabled sports programme being offered at Frenford Clubs with the Frenford Falcons wheelchair basketball club meeting there from 12.30pm-2pm on Sundays.

There is also disabled multi-sports for over 16s from 11am-12.30pm on Tuesdays.

Call Michelle Wood on 020 8708 0951 for details.