What’s happening with Adaptive Athletics at Yate?
April to August 2021
After extensive refurbishment at Yate Outdoor Sports Complex, attention turned to the issues surrounding inclusion and community athletics for all. Following discussions with potential partners across the South West, and after meetings with England Athletics, it was confirmed that YOSC was the ideal venue for development of an open and developing athletics programme for all level and abilities.
The equipment was purchased, stored and a new plan was put in place in May 2021. First sessions were in early June. Summer break came after 16th August with the restart in September. In total since June, 71 athletes with additional needs have benefitted from the programme.
Participants varied enormously in age, ethnicity, and degree of additional needs. While the majority of deaf participants were able to work within a typical junior academy programme, there were a number who formed a separate group where one-to-one support was needed. The competition event for deaf school showed a number of young people with considerable potential for progress in athletics – one threw a vortex, 56 metres.
The open sessions for primary included adapted run, jump and throw activities but the challenge was in maintaining attention. Good coach to athlete ratio is required and detailed advance session planning is needed.
With adults, the variation in physical capability is enormous from only limited upper body control, to blindness to hemiplegia. We have introduced track running to the blind athlete, frame running to several stroke athletes, and sprint to another, and racing wheelchair to two others. All have benefitted from warm up sessions and we see the benefit in their physiological awareness and control.
There are sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
We will also introduce a more advance para-athlete programme for those aged 14 to 30 years. This group will be able to make use the equipment we have now installed: frame runners, racing wheelchairs (with rollers for indoor use) hand cycle and throws chairs.
After a long delay due to the pandemic, the programme is underway. The coaches have learned a great deal and we will continue to develop the necessary expertise.
Thanks to coaches: Eugene Hechavarria, Eddie Ellis-Cooper, Ann Dale
Jim Kyle (Coordinator)
The programme is supported by Yate Athletics Club at YOSC, in conjunction with
Deaf Studies Trust, Bristol Deaf Schools and Paul’s Place Centre
And with support from Yate Town Council