Celebrating its eighth year, the Seahaven Para Games returned to Downs Leisure Centre, Seaford last Sunday (11 August 2019). Organised by Wave Leisure Trust (Wave) and local community partners the event welcomed over 50 participants to take part in a series of adapted sporting challenges, including handcycling, adapted tennis, sensory circuits and more.
The annual sporting event showcases opportunities for adults with special educational needs and disabilities to participate in sport and physical activity.
CEO of Wave Leisure Trust, Duncan Kerr, said: “We’re thrilled with the turnout this year and the team have enjoyed seeing some familiar faces take part again.
“Recent reports show that less than 17% of people with a learning disability manage to play sport once a week, compared with 40% of the general population. At Wave we want to improve these statistics by inspiring and supporting people to enjoy a variety of sports and activities.
“It’s not only about being physically active but also offering the opportunity for people to come together and socialise, supporting improved mental wellbeing and building friendships.”
Wave Leisure Trust is a charitable not for profit trust with a purpose of “Inspiring Active Lifestyles” and a vision “to be at the heart of the improvement of health and wellbeing in the community”.
Wave Leisure Trust partnered with local organisations including Sussex Cricket Foundation, Albion in the Community, Seaford Kurling Club, Defiant Sport, Special Olympics Eastbourne, Sussex Bears Basketball Club, Cycling Without Age and Ping England to deliver the event.
Teresa Boyle, Activities Coordinator at The Chaseley Trust, said: “All of our Chaseley folk had a great time, trying new sports. I have had several requests for table cricket cycling and balloon ball over the net to be organised and put on our activities timetable ASAP!”
Also joining the event was Robert Groves, Hand Cycling Adventurer, who shared his experiences with participants about his personal journey into the inclusive sport. In 2017 he become the only disabled hand-cyclist to hand-cycle around England’s coastline – 2,500 miles in 27 days.
Wave Leisure Trust manages 17 sites in Sussex and offers a wide range of sporting activities not just in its centres, but out in the community. These include sessions for those with special educational needs and disabilities with staff on hand to offer additional support. Activities include therapeutic swims, one-off events like the SEND Family Fun Day and supportive weekly sessions, with an adaptive timetable through “Get Set Club” for children and young people.
Adaptive initiatives such as these have achieved a 45% increase in attendances by children and young people needing additional support to participate.
For more information and to attend upcoming SEND events at Wave, visit https://www.waveleisure.co.uk/.