“We loved the rugby, we’re going for a trial session tomorrow” - Parent

Last weekend, Access Sport on behalf of the Lewisham Disability Sports Network, hosted the fourth Lewisham multi-sport SEND festival for disabled young people!

Article written by Marianna Lordou

In 2021, 7.9% of Lewisham residents identified as being disabled, however this doesn’t account for those without a diagnosis. For many disabled young people and their families accessing sport is challenging. Events like these give the community a chance to showcase what’s on offer locally as well as empowering families to try different activities.

The local community clubs delivered their inclusive sessions and adapted their activities to meet the needs of the different attendees so that they were truly accessible, whilst also creating a welcoming space and a judgement-free zone. Families were given the opportunity to try all the activities at the festival, many of them experiencing a sport or activity for the very first time!  

Jo Nichols, Paediatric Physio from Kaleidoscope said:
"The sports festival was a well organised event and it was great to see so many families, enjoying activities together and trying sports they had not considered before. It was an opportunity for them to see what activities are available in the area"

A young person attending the event said:
“I really liked the tennis, the people told me how to do tennis, that was the good part. I learned how to do tennis, go down and then up. He gave me a sticker!"

Over 65 children attended the event, along with parents, carers and siblings who got to try tennis, dance, cycling, taekwondo, athletics, tennis and football. To end the day, everyone went home with their own medal! 

Thank you to Lewisham Council for funding this years event and to the community clubs that delivered incredible sessions: Wheels for Wellbeing, South East London Tennis, S Factor Athletics, England Athletics, Planet Hoop, Aquila Taekwondo, Trinity Laban and Old Colfeians RFC.

Interested in learning more about how we are promoting long-term change in Lewisham's inclusive community sport space?
Click the link below to learn more.

Changing Places - London

About the Lewisham Disbability Sports Network

The Lewisham Disability Sports Network is a co-creative group of organisations and stakeholders across different sectors working collectively to ensure more inclusive opportunities for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people are available in Lewisham. Access Sport steers the network and includes Lewisham Council, London Sport, GLL, South-East London Tennis, Kaleidoscope and Disability Sports Coach. The wider steering group members and clubs meet quarterly with the network to contribute to the collective vision.