fit & able

Fit and Able is North Kelvin Sports Development Group’s sport based initiative that offers fun games and sports sessions to young people with disabilities or assisted needs since January 2015.

 
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overview

Project staff provide young people with a series of fun activities in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. The original project was created in response to the organisations community research study which identified a lack of provision for sports and activities to young people with assisted needs.

Providing a valuable activity to a marginalised group allows us to ensure that our club remains as inclusive and accessible to all members of our community.

how it works

Staff work in partnership with local schools that care for young people with assisted needs and engage classes in a variety of fun activities that cater for their very specific needs.

These sessions have proven extremely popular with parents and participants and as a free resource has proven to be invaluable to local schools across the community.

Project CoOrdinator - Andrew Westcott

Andrew is the Project Coordinator for Fit and Able, our project for young people with disabilities, in partnership with schools in the north-west of Glasgow. He is also the main coach delivering sessions and develops coaches and volunteers to assist with the sessions. The F&A sessions have become a regular school time slot for pupils at Kelbourne Park, St Charles LCR and Highpark LCR primary schools. All are located just a short walk from the office and sees us work closely with the schools and their staff. There is a need for more activity for disabled children including those with learning difficulties.

"In addition to my BSc (Hons) I also spent 3 years at college studying Community Leadership in Sports Coaching and Development including my first placement with pupils with SEN. In the last few years, I was heavily involved in developing award winning projects for AMsoccer Club and Links Park Community Trust including mental health projects such as Walking Football, Health Walks and Football Memories (for people who live with dementia). I first gained experience with ADHD/ADD and Autistic children at Summit Camp in Pennsylvania, USA in 1998. I am happy to be leading the F&A project and using skills I have learned. I also have experience as a Support Worker for a young man with down syndrome and autism which I feel has helped me greatly with coaching the F&A pupils, especially ASD pupils.

Feedback

Elaine Jamieson, Principal Teacher at Kelbourne Park Primary School

“The majority of our pupils find it extremely difficult to access sporting activities in their local communities due to their physical support needs & their difficulty making themselves understood. The programme has ensured that pupils are given time to focus on developing skills to the best of their ability, while taking into account their physical impairment. Having opportunities to work alongside other children regardless of their physical impairment to acquire physical & social skills which they can then use to participate in a sporting game means a massive amount to our pupils and is something which they cannot easily access in their local community.”

Elaine Ross, Head Teacher at St Charles PS & LCR

“Fit and Able is the one extra-curricular session that my LCR pupils ask for; nothing else has kept their interest over a sustained block of time. It is definitely one of the highlights of their week. The boys predominantly have diagnoses of ASD and ADHD. In addition to difficulties with communication, the boys have difficulty with regulating their emotions and can particularly struggle during team games or sports with an element of competition. One of the added bonuses of the Fit and Able programme is that the boys from the group are now more confident in their own abilities and have now started to join in with football games involving the children from the mainstream. Without the intervention of the Fit and Able programme, this is something that we would never have thought possible.”

Robert Scott, Classroom Teacher at Highpark LCR

“I would like to thank you and your staff for the Fit & Able lessons you delivered for my class over the past few months. Your staff are very knowledgeable and produced a series of different activities that kept the pupils enthused and able to participate in physical activity week after week. This was invaluable as many of the pupils find taking part in physical activity challenging -but the Fit & Able staff gave them the expertise, support, encouragement and understanding that they all needed in order to full participate.  The lessons also gave me, as the class teacher, some ideas about PE games and activities that will be very useful in future lessons. The Fit & Able staff personified professionalism and good manners at all times and were a great example to the pupils of how to handle challenges, games, equipment, and emotions when taking part in a wide range of physical activity. They were able to produce lessons which even severely autistic pupils were able to participate in and boost their self esteem and mental health. My only regret is that we only get to use this excellent service for a few short weeks. I'd have the Fit & Able staff in every school week if I could. It was invaluable and very enjoyable.”

Peter Galbraith, Classroom Teacher at Middlefield School

“The thing that has impressed me the most is your flexibility in how you approach working with the range of young people we have at Middlefield. It’s your ability to react to fast changing circumstances (with B) that means the most to me. Its not everyone that can work with him, and you have found a sweet spot that he is very engaged in. The work that I have seen you do with M's class is good but we do struggle to find people that can engage successfully with B.”