From the playground to the podium

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Over 100 young people with disabilities came together on Friday at Stantonbury Campus.

Nominated by their schools, parents or careers to attend, in recognition of their higher ability in school sport and physical education, these young people took part in a range of sports including athletics, football, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and swimming.

Representatives of the National Governing Bodies for each sport came to assess the young people, with several being selected for a regional squad and many more encouraged to join their local club.

This Playground to Podium event is part of a programme led by Sport England (in partnership with the English Federation of Disability Sport), the Youth Sport Trust and Paralympics GB, to help create a clear and professional disability sport pathway from school to sport, through to club participation and on to elite performance.

Stacey Gunther, disability lead from Bucks Sport, said: “It was a great success for everyone involved. We encouraged the young people to find their personal podium and to try and be the best they can be. We are really looking forward to seeing how our talented young sports people get on.”

Event organiser, Lesley Byrne, from Slated Row School said: “It is fantastic to see some many young people taking part in the day; it is an excellent opportunity for them.”

The performance of each of the young people participating was excellent, highlighting what exceptional sporting talent we have in the county. With disabilities ranging from physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, to learning disabilities and sensory impairment (such as visual or hearing impairment), they all took part in athletics, football, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and swimming. And of course it was a fun day for all.

Following the day many of the young people will be encouraged to become a member of a local sports club, to make the most of opportunities on offer to develop their skills further and to participate in sport throughout their lives. In addition several participants were recommended for fast tracking to regional squads and will now have the chance to excel at their sport.

For more information about Playground to Podium in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire please contact Stacey Gunther, Sports Development Manager, at Bucks Sport on sgunther@buckssport.org or call 01296 585215.