"We started attending Spitfires last year and immediately we felt welcomed. Jason started gaining confidence not only on the BMX track but also in using his words”

Access Sport commends and celebrates the inclusive nature of Redbridge spitfires BMX club.

Redbridge Spitfires is a BMX club based in East London that recently won the prestigious Inclusive Club of the Year Award at Access Sport's Stand for Inclusion Awards. This award recognizes the club's efforts to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for riders of all abilities.

The club was founded in 2018 with the goal of providing opportunities for young people to participate in BMX racing. Either side of lockdown the Redbridge Spitfires have grown to two weekly sessions with ten youngsters in each.

What sets the Redbridge Spitfires apart from other BMX clubs is their commitment to inclusivity. The club welcomes riders of all abilities and backgrounds, and has a team for almost every age group.

In addition to BMX racing, the club also focuses on developing their riders' skills and confidence both on and off the track. They provide coaching sessions and support to help riders develop their BMX skills, but they also offer support with other aspects of life, such as education and employment. The club leaders – Nikki and Julian Tysoe – have involved the riders in the decision-making since the club started.

The club's dedication to inclusivity has not gone unnoticed. Winning the Inclusive Club of the Year Award is a testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved with the Redbridge Spitfires. The club's success also highlights the importance of creating inclusive spaces for everyone, regardless of ability, to participate and enjoy sports.

Winning the Inclusive Club of the Year Award at Access Sport's Stand for Inclusion Awards is a well-deserved recognition of the club's efforts and serves as an inspiration for other clubs to follow their example.

Redbridge spitfires is an amazing example of a club with limited resources being able to adapt to include riders with complex needs. The impact made to the lives of new riders and their families has been shown through the lovely feedback received.

Parent Quote: About the impact Redbridge spitfires has had on their child
"Jason is autistic and has many challenges among which are communication and social skills. He’s always solitary, even in a crowd and as a parent, the isolation is heart-breaking.

We started attending Spitfire last year and immediately we felt welcomed. There’s a young leader and Jason calls her Miss Ellie. She patiently guides, teaches and encourages Jason. She communicates with clarity and empathy and always cheers for Jason with positive words. Eventually, Jason started gaining confidence not only on BMX tracks but also in using his words. He started talking to Ellie and she patiently listens to him. There’s another boy called Tom and Jason likes following his direction and is always happy riding with him. Actually, there’s a sense of camaraderie, belongingness and genuine care with all the children. One time, after the BMX session, as we are leaving, Tom’s younger brother Will was running after us. When he finally caught us, he said, “Jason! High five! You’ve done really well today. Good job! See you next week!”. Hearing that really pulled some heartstrings. Ever since attending Spitfires, Jason gains confidence, has increased attention and focus.”

Redbridge Spitfires epitomises the inclusive nature of the clubs Access Sport works with. Congratulations to them on winning this year’s Inclusive Club of the Year Award!