A project that enables children with disabilities to try new sports at the National Sports Centre has been given £3,000 from Isle of Man Sport to buy new equipment.

Currently around 80 children from 13 schools take part in Manx Sport and Recreation’s (MSR) Disability School Sports Programme that started in 2017. It is run by trained coaches with help from University College Isle of Man students, who are mentored in return.

The funding has been spent on an indoor athletics kit, basketball hoops, curling sets and variety different balls, bibs and cones and means more sports can be taught and enjoyed.

Gareth Lloyd, Disability and Activities Coordinator, said:

‘The programme allows children to try new sports in a fun and inclusive environment, and encourages pupils to continue their involvement in sport through other events and schemes MSR and schools offer.
'This money is a real boost and means we’ve been able to revamp the programme with new equipment.’

David Morgan, Chairman of the Sports Liaison Committee said:

‘It has been a pleasure for Isle of Man Sport to help with this initiative to increase the opportunities for our Island’s young disabled people to be physically active. Hopefully some will be encouraged to take up a chosen sport and go on to represent the Island in the future.
‘We have specific funding available to assist sports clubs in encouraging athletes with disabilities and welcome applications to our Sports Liaison Officer.’

Children from 13 Special Educational Needs (SEN) units currently participate in weekly sessions with sports including basketball, netball, football, athletics, cricket and golf.

Dr Alex Allinson MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said:

‘This an excellent programme that demonstrates how sport and physical activity can improve the lives of children with disabilities.’

The lessons take place at the NSC between 9:00am and 3:00pm each Tuesday.