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Calling young disabled people to join in the sporting fun


Apr 23, 2013 | Editors

In May, the English Federation of Disability Sport will deliver three days of sporting fun for young disabled people at the home of Paralympic sport - Buckinghamshire venue, Stoke Mandeville Stadium. The Festival of Sport is being held on 10-12 May 2013 and is for 6 to 16 year olds with all impairments to try a range of sports. Supported by Everyone Active, the event is free for participants to take part*.

The event is so popular that it has featured on the Disability Sport Events (DSE) calendar for over twenty years. DSE is the events programme for the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS), the national body for disabled people in sport or physical activity throughout England. This Festival at Stoke Mandeville is just one of the opportunities in the programme, which encourages young disabled people to find a sport and enjoy the benefits of being active.

Barry Horne, EFDS’s Chief Executive said: “Our Festival is really popular with many schools and individuals across the country. It is great to have so many young people, sports bodies and volunteers join together to introduce a variety of fun opportunities. You do not have to be a Paralympian or even dream of being one to love sport. We want the young disabled people taking part to enjoy it so much, that they take their enthusiasm back home and continue being active in whatever sport they choose.”

Ian Seabrook, Business and Development Manager at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, said: “We’re extremely looking forward to hosting the Festival of Sport. With our fantastic facilities and reputation here at Stoke Mandeville Stadium we think it’s important to be able to provide a venue young disabled people. This kind of event is a great way to encourage people to stay active and we hope we can host similar in the future.”

This year’s event is supported by Everyone Active, one of the UK’s leading providers of health and fitness advice and local authority sports facilities. EFDS was selected as their charity for 2012-2014 and all money raised will go towards the DSE Festivals of Sport.

Rachel Shelton, Group Marketing Manager for Everyone Active commented: "We are delighted to have been supporting the English Federation of Disability Sport for the past year. The fundraising events that we have hosted both nationally and in each or 80 leisure centres will go some way to helping to fund the Festival of Sport which is a fantastic opportunity for more people to enjoy the benefits of being active."

Over three days, sporting partners will come together to offer exciting opportunities to participants. The main aim is for participants to learn new skills, try new sports and most of all- have fun. Hopefully, many children will take their positive experience to another level and continue in one or more sports- whether locally or nationally.

A key partner is Panathlon, as the first day hosts their Panathlon Challenge, where lots of local schools take part in sport together. The remaining two days are for everyone to spend with a range of National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs), who will provide a range of activities for disabled children to try.

The exciting event programme is as follows:

Friday: Teams from Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire will come together to compete in the Panathlon Challenge during the day. The Panathlon Challenge is by invitation only, but in the evening, wheelchair rugby will hold a demonstration game and run taster sessions, which is open for everyone.

Saturday: A range of NGB coaches will be running fun taster sessions throughout the day, with an evening BBQ and a disco to conclude the day. Sports include archery, sitting volleyball, cycling, table tennis and athletics.

Sunday: Further NGB sessions will run in the morning

To register your interest, contact Jamie Blair on email jblair@efds.co.uk.

For more information on EFDS and the DSE participation opportunities visit www.efds.co.uk

*To take part in the sport event is free. Accommodation and lunches are chargeable

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