Jim Kyle

Coordinator for Adaptive and Para Athletics

My role at the club is to encourage diversity and to enable those with additional needs to use the facilities and to progress in fitness and well-being.

The concept of “Adaptive” athletics is new outside of the USA and gives us a different perspective summed up as “Respect the individual and adapt the activity.”

I am a Level 2 UKA Coach and Level 2 UKA Official and have been engaged with the EA Youth Talent Programme. Officiating has taken me across the South West and South Wales and supporting athletes to national competitions at the main venues in England. What surprised me was the lack of provision for those with additional needs.

Almost all of my professional life as a Chartered Psychologist has been working with those with special needs from infancy to old age. A particular focus has been with deaf people and deaf blind. I am fluent in British Sign Language and have trained interpreters and allied services to work with these communities. I currently provide a training programme for student doctors in managing patient with different needs.

In focusing on Adaptive Athletics, we focus on sensory, intellectual and physical differences and cater for a range in age from around 10 years to over 50 years. Participants can register at the club in an adaptive category but can also progress to England Athletics registration and can compete in the full range of competitions in racing chairs, running frames and in field events. We link with local agencies working with those with disabilities and there are adaptive and para sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. There are also taster sessions for other groups. In summer there are club events for the adaptive groups and also a Deaf Schools competition.

More information: adaptive4athletics@gmail.com