Yate AC has begun a new programme with support from Sport England and South Gloucestershire
Council and Yate Town Council, to provide special adapted sessions for people who have special
We are building partnerships with local schools and organisations who support those with
special needs such as Paul’s Place. The work began in 2019 but got stuck by the pandemic and we
are having to re-build the links all over again. The development is led by the funding from Sport
England and this has a different focus to what is usually presented in other clubs. We call it
adaptive athletics rather than disabled athletics.
We have a simple approach: “Respect the person and adapt the activity”
We are not trying to fit people into what is already there and into the groups we are already
delivering at Yate AC. Rather, we are open to the individual needs and to the individual plans for
progress. Hence the notion of providing activities leading towards athletics.
The development plan for Adaptive Athletics is long term and it expects to work with people with a wide range of special needs. There will be scheduled daytime sessions as well as after-school sessions.
Adults will also take part in evening sessions and all day events.
During 2021, we expect these activities to be empowering and self-motivating. With an S106 community grant, through Yate Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council, we have been able purchase a range of equipment suited to the different physical and sensory capabilities, we expect to support. We are currently waiting for Yate Town Council to release this equipment for use at the track.
The Sport England grant pays for the outreach to schools and organisations and to individuals; it
includes funding for coaching sessions and some training and supporting coaches and assistants as
necessary. It is meant to have minimal impact on the finances of Yate AC but is intended to
gradually subsume the activities into the offering of Yate AC. That is, it is intended to enhance the
profile of Yate AC.
Jim Kyle is acting as coordinator. His background is in work with deaf people over many years.
Fluent in sign language, he is a level 2 field official with an assistant coach licence.
Eugene Hechavarria is lead coach – he has a long experience as athlete and UKA coach. He is a
60m javelin thrower, he won English Schools in triple jump with a record which is still unbeaten
since 1978; he has trained and worked with elite athletes. He coaches for Bristol and West and
Team Bath in Long Jump, Triple Jump, Sprints and High Jump. He is facilities manager at Bristol
Jeremy Dale chair of YOSC and Yate AC is the manager of the Adaptive Athletics initiative.
As the programme develops we will be consulting with and drawing on the experiences of the
coaches and officials at Yate AC.
We are in the early stages of a major development and we do not expect large numbers of
participants just yet. We welcome your thoughts and questions and hope through this initiative
to extend the membership of the club and who knows, produce some elite para-athletes in the
For further information contact Jim or Jeremy on