Making sports accessible to everybody

Twenty-nine local coaches, volunteers and leaders in Kilkenny received Disability Inclusion Training provided by Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership recently.

Twenty-nine local coaches, volunteers and leaders in Kilkenny received Disability Inclusion Training provided by Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership recently.

The six-hour course aimed to provide ideas and generate inspiration to adapt sports and physical activities to make them more accessible for people with a disability.

Course tutor Oisin Jordan, who is also the national co-ordinator for the “Football for All” programme with the FAI, has a wealth of experience in the disability sport sector. The morning session was mainly theory-based and generated debate on areas such as perception of disability sport, terminology and the barriers.

It was all action in the afternoon session which saw the group playing boccia and goal ball. Played by visually impaired athletes using a ball with bells inside it, goal ball is among the most exciting team sports on the Paralympic programme. Mr Jordan provided the group with various scenarios where the group had to adapt the sessions to include people with disabilities.

Caitriona Corr, sports inclusion development officer with KRSP, was delighted with the number of people who attended the training. “It is a testament to Kilkenny that so many are interested and invested in creating and providing more opportunities for people with a disability to participate in sport in the county,” she said.

Along with a better awareness, ideas and ways of adapting activities,participants were asked to develop action plans for what they would do individually in their own area to increase opportunities for people with disabilities.

This training programme is being developed by the CARA Centre in association with Sports Council Northern Ireland and is being piloted in 14 counties before the end of the summer. Following the pilot phase, an Irish-specific standardised course for coaches accredited by Coaching Ireland is due to be finalised.

KRSP will be offering this training opportunity for coaches, leaders, volunteers in Kilkenny as part of its programme of work. Contact the office on 056 7720870 for more information or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kilkennysports.