In the same week as the International Day for Disabled People, on 29 November, Ministers, MPs and senior sporting figures joined a celebration event held at the House of Lords. The event was organised by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) and hosted by the Chair of the Youth Sport Trust, Baroness Sue Campbell. The reception recognised the success of the Sainsbury’s Active Kids for All Inclusive PE training over the past four years.
Paralympic champion swimmer, Ellie Simmonds OBE, was amongst the 60 guests who celebrated the superb impact the Sainsbury’s Active Kids for All Inclusive PE training programme has had on thousands of young disabled people across the country.
Sainsbury’s Active Kids for All launched in 2012 and initially focussed on the development and delivery of inclusive PE training for teachers in mainstream schools across the UK. The initiative provides free training to teachers, trainee teachers and school staff to improve the quality of PE provision for young disabled people.
An Ambassador for Sainsbury’s, Ellie gave credit to their role, the delivery partners and tutors involved:
“I’ve been fortunate to be involved with Sainsbury’s Active Kids for many years now and it’s been fantastic to see initiatives like this ensuring all children have the opportunity to be active. There has never been a better time to engage young people in inclusive sport and I would urge all schools to get involved with the Active Kids for All programme. Inclusion in school is a vital first step on what can be an exciting journey for young people and which could eventually lead to a gold medal.”
Sainsbury’s began funding the programme in 2012 as part of their Paralympic legacy to provide free training until March 2016. Then, in March 2016, Sainsbury’s awarded the initiative funding for a further year. All present at the celebration event remarked how vital inclusive PE is to ensure all young people enjoy equal access to high quality PE and school sport.
Sarah Warby, Marketing Director for Sainsbury’s, commented:
“It’s great to see the impact this initiative has had on teachers’ ability to teach inclusive PE lessons. We’re incredibly proud of the Active Kids for All Inclusive PE Training Programme, which has proved a really effective way to continue the momentum of the success in 2012 in raising awareness of disabled sport among young people. We know high quality PE is essential to inspire young people to lead full and active lifestyles and we’re privileged to have worked with Home Country Disability Sport Organisations, British Paralympic Association and Youth Sport Trust in delivering this successful programme.”
EFDS coordinates the Inclusive PE training programme, which is delivered in partnership with the Home Country Disability Sports Organisations and the Youth Sport Trust in England. It is also supported by the British Paralympic Association.
Since the training began, tutors have delivered more than 575 workshops across the UK. Over 8,500 teachers, trainee teachers and school staff have attended one of the free workshops. It is estimated that 200,000 young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have benefitted. External evaluation shows a significant and sustained impact on participants’ confidence and competence in delivering inclusive PE.
Baroness Sue Campbell, who opened the event for the Youth Sport Trust, said:
“The inclusive training initiative has been a huge success thanks to investment from Sainsbury’s. We are incredibly proud to have been part of developing teachers’ skills and knowledge of how to include disabled students in PE lessons. Disability participation in sport is a big issue and too many young disabled people still have very negative experiences of PE because they are not included in activities. We hope more schools will see this as a priority and support their teachers to make sports activities accessible for all young people.”
Barry Horne, Chief Executive at EFDS, said on behalf of all the home country organisations:
“We are extremely proud of this programme and its successes. Sadly, insight shows us that many disabled adults cannot recall positive PE lessons. This needs to change to ensure disabled people want to be active long after they leave school. EFDS, with our partners, have worked hard to deliver training that gives all children a better experience. We all want to see more young disabled people reaping the benefits of inclusive PE lessons. To do this, we need to continue boosting the confidence and skills of our PE teachers.”
Guests heard from Gary Oliver, a former Redwood Special School pupil, who features in one of the short films about the programme. He recalls how he became involved in the programme and has gone from classroom to staffroom as he is now a school employee. David Butterworth, an Inclusive PE Training tutor and PE teacher at the school, also talked about the benefits.
This cycle of the Sainsbury’s Inclusive PE training programme ends in March 2017. All partners would like to thank all those involved in making it an overwhelming success.