Inclusion in sport

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On Monday my brother Will and I headed to Loughborough University for a meeting of the Inclusion 2020 Steering Group, writes columnist Jemima Browning.

The group aims to provide effective advice, guidance and support regarding key strategic issues of the grant Inclusion 2020. The group aims to represent the views of National Partners. The group is chaired by the Youth Sport Trust. Inclusion 2020 is the term to describe an initiative that the Youth Sport Trust deliver. It sits within the Department for Education SEND Inclusion in PE, School Sport and Physical Activity grant.

Will and I are there to use our voices and share our views to represent young people with and without intellectual disabilities. Therefore, we will be sharing our views, responding to questions and advising the group.

The membership of the group includes, British Paralympic Association, Swim England, 2 Lead Inclusion Schools, Kate Grey, Paralympic swimmer, Activity Alliance, Nasen, Youth Sport Trust and Department for Education. We will discuss three projects facilitated by the group, Learning and Discovery Festivals, My PB and swimming.

Through Inclusion 2020, it is envisaged that people with and without special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are provided with equal opportunities to partake in PE and school sports.

The Discovery Festivals are one way the group delivers this opportunity. The events are inspired by the Paralympic Games. The group aim to help facilitate and organize these events in schools and hope to engage more students through this initiative.

My Personal Best Character Education project aims to provide special schools their staff with training and support from an Inclusion tutor. The program helps to ensure staff feel equiped with the correct skills and are reflective in order to maximize the development of all students. The aim is to ensure students flourish in PE, school and fundamentally in life.

A resource pack was put together by experienced staff members and was designed to help ensure that school staff would be supported in delivering high quality content to young people with SEND. My Personal Best promotes a whole school approach to teaching and learning in PE.

The My Personal Best life skills are grouped into three areas; Healthy Me which supports pupils to develop the skills that lead to a healthy lifestyle, Social Me which supports pupils to develop skills of working with others and to understand others to maximize achievement and Thinking Me which supports pupils to develop the skills that will allow them to overcome challenges, create opportunities and use their voices.

The final area, swimming works towards understanding and breaking down the young people with SEND encounter to access swimming and innovate new approaches and solutions. It helps to make reasonable adjustments to allow equal opportunities when it comes to swimming. The barriers are grouped into awareness, resources and accessibility.

As I write this before going to Loughborough, Will and I are very excited and honored to be attending the meeting. I look forward to hearing how the three initiatives have been creating changes and impacting the staff and students. I also look forward to learning of and hopefully influencing the future of the group.

Will said: “I am excited to use my voice to help other people.

“I like hearing that everyone can do sport and can love it just like me.”