A decade of success for the 'Festival of sport' event
Children and young people from all over Ayrshire proved they were game for a sporting challenge at the tenth annual Ayrshire Sportsability 'Festival of sport' event from 15 - 18 May 2012. This year, for the first time, the annual event added an extra day onto its three-day programme.
Nearly 600 primary and secondary pupils with physical, sensory and learning disabilities took part in the four-day event held in the Magnum Centre in Irvine. The 'Festival of Sport' was organised by Ayrshire Sportsability, and co-hosted by NHS Ayrshire & Arran and the three Ayrshire local authorities.
Children and young people were given the opportunity to participate in lots of different sporting activities. These included archery, boccia, football and new-age Kurling. Youngsters also got the chance to meet and interact with others while having fun during the three-day event. Everyone taking part was presented with certificates and goody bags provided by Sainsbury's in Irvine and Ayr. Both stores also provided some of their colleagues to help out with the sports each day and supplied all of the lunches for the volunteers each day.
The 'Festival' also now includes an extra day following requests from senior pupils for a more competitive day of sport. Youngsters took part in football, boccia, badminton and athletics. Participants were then tested on four skills in each of the sports. Everybody got a medal with the two winning teams - Carrick Academy Maybole and James Reid School Saltcoats being awarded with a glass trophy. The medals and trophies were kindly sponsored by Irvine Seagate Rotary.
Special thanks go to East, North and South and Ayrshire Councils and NHS Ayrshire & Arran for co-hosting the event. Also to East and South Ayrshire Active School Co-ordinators, East Ayrshire Leisure Development, Sports for Special Needs, Sainsbury's, Kilmarnock College, Scottish Football Association, Badminton Scotland, NHS Ayrshire & Arran's Jumpstart team, St Andrews Ambulance and all of our volunteers who made the event possible.
Dr Wai-yin Hatton, Chair of Ayrshire Sportsability, said: "Everyone had a fantastic time at this year's Festival. It makes it extremely worthwhile to see children and young people experiencing a new sport for the first time. It is also rewarding to see youngsters coming back each year and getting better and better at the various sports. Due to popular demand we have added in an extra day of more competitive sport - and this went down a storm."
Dr Hatton added: "My thanks also go to our fantastic coaches and volunteers who made sure that everyone who came along was able to try something new and exciting. I would also highlight that Ayrshire Sportsability would not be possible without the generous donations and support from all its sponsors."