Westbury Academy, through the Nottingham Sports Partnership, to provide inclusive youth sport opportunities through festivals.

Hundreds of young people from Nottinghamshire will have the chance to take part in inclusive sports activities in the run up to the 2020 Paralympic Games.

Westbury Academy is working with children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust, which is leading a consortium of organisations commissioned by the Department for Education, to increase opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to enjoy Physical Education, school sport and physical activity.

The new programme, Inclusion 2020, will see pupils of all abilities experience a variety of sports and get the opportunity to compete. They will be supported by a team of Youth Sport Trust athlete mentors including ParalympicsGB swimmer Kate Grey.

Westbury Academy is one of 50 Lead Inclusion Schools – hubs of expertise on inclusive PE and sport – which is championing inclusive PE in its local area. As well as staging festivals, the school will be responsible for training staff and sharing best practice with other schools to improve the provision of PE, school sport and physical activity for young people with SEND.  This includes Social, emotional and mental health needs as well as physical disability.

Joe Drew, who is in charge of the YST Lead Inclusion project and based at Westbury Academy said “this is a fantastic opportunity to promote the Paralympic Games.  Our ultimate aim is to inspire the next generation to love sport so the more opportunities we can provide the better chance we have to create positive habits that will last a lifetime”.

Inclusion 2020 will aim to reach tens of thousands of pupils, 2,800 schools and train 6,000 teachers and coaches ahead of the 2020 Games. The consortium of organisations led by the Youth Sport Trust includes Activity Alliance, the British Paralympic Association, Nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs) and Swim England.

Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver said:

“Schools have come a long way in improving the provision of sport and play for young disabled people, but we know there is still more we can do.

“Taking part in fun and inclusive sport and play unlocks so many other life benefits. It improves well being, increases confidence and helps build relationships and a sense of belonging. It can help forge friendships and foster inclusive and respectful environments within schools. 

“Ahead of Tokyo 2020, we want to build excitement and inspire children and young people. Inclusion 2020 offers a fantastic opportunity to work with schools, teachers and parents to ensure that having special educational needs or a disability is no barrier when it comes to benefiting from high-quality PE, sport and physical activity.”

Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said:

“With excitement already building for Tokyo 2020, we are delighted to be funding this project which is a great opportunity to make sure all pupils can enjoy the benefits of staying active – let’s hope it may even inspire some future Olympic and Paralympic stars.

“We want every child – including those with special educational needs and disabilities – to have the opportunity to find a sport they love, and this funding will build on the £320 million we are providing through the PE and Sport Premium to help primary schools encourage all of their pupils to lead active lives.”

For more information about the project please contact Joe Drew

J.Drew [@]

About the Youth Sport Trust:

The Youth Sport Trust is a children’s charity working to ensure every child enjoys the life-changing benefits that come from play and sport. It has more than 20 years expertise in pioneering new ways of using sport to improve children’s well being and give them a brighter future.

The charity works with more than 20,000 schools across the UK and operates on a local, national and global level. It harnesses the power of sport, physical activity and PE to build life skills, connections between people and support networks which increase life chances through greater attainment, improved well being and healthier lifestyles. 

Twitter: @YouthSportTrust 

Facebook: YouthSportTrust 

Instagram: @youthsporttrust

LinkedIn: Youth Sport Trust