MORE than 50 children with various disabilities took part in the Secondary School Disability Football Festival at the end of October.
The event, which took place at the NSC last Wednesday, was yet again supported by Barclays who for the third consecutive year has donated money towards the developments of disability sport in the Isle of Man.
In conjunction with the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure’s Sports Development Unit, Barclays has helped to successfully secure the Disability School Sports Programme (DSSP) for another school year.
The disability school sports programme allows children with disabilities to take part in a variety of sport sessions and sporting festivals every school year.
In partnership with the Department of Education and Children, the DSSP is now a yearly sports programme that is being rolled out with all primary and secondary Special Educational Need Units (SEN Units) across the island.
Prior to the festival, the Sports Development Unit ran a series of weekly football training sessions to all secondary SEN Units.
These weekly training sessions were facilitated and adapted for a wide range of disabilities in a fun and inclusive environment.
Children learnt various key skills such as shooting, dribbling and passing in preparation for the festival.
The donation from Barclays allows the Sports Development Unit to buy specialised sporting equipment to ensure that every child is made fully inclusive in both the training and sporting festivals.
During the festival, children had the opportunity to take part in a variety of football activities followed by a series of football matches where schools competed and socialised with other children from across the island.
Community, Culture and Leisure Minister Graham Cregeen MHK said: ‘This Disability School Sports Programme is a great opportunity for children to get involved in sport.
‘Regular training sessions and sporting festivals are a great way for children to develop key fundamental skills that can be nurtured and developed over time.’