School pupils gear up for Para Sport Festival 2017

SCHOOL pupils with disabilities will take part in the one of the largest sporting events of its kind in Scotland tomorrow.

Thursday, 23rd March 2017, 4:46 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th March 2017, 11:00 am
Ruairi Logan competing in 2015. Picture: Chris Vaughan/James Jordan Photography

The East of Scotland Para Sport Festival is taking place in Edinburgh and gives all school-aged young people with a physical or sensory impairment the opportunity to try a range of sports in a fun, friendly and supportive environment.

Sessions in Athletics, Boccia, Badminton, Judo, Powerchair Football, Swimming, Tennis and Wheelchair Basketball will be delivered by local club coaches with a vast range of experience in disability.

Organisers are expecting around 80 children and young people to attend Friday’s event.

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The event, taking place at the Forrester/St Augustine’s community sports hub, is aimed at young people, regardless of ability or experience, from Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, the Scottish Borders and West Lothian.

The positive benefits of the event were captured in a special video last year which highlights the aims and potential impact of the event featuring testimonies from young people, parents, club coaches and professional officers.

Councillor Cammy Day, Education, Children & Families Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The annual Para Sport Festival has gone from strength to strength since it first started in 2012 and is a great way of introducing young people to disability sport in a fun and engaging way.

“With all the varied activities on offer it opens all sorts of different sporting doors for our young people and will hopefully inspire them to take up a sport and join our next generation of Scottish sporting stars. I am sure the event will be a huge success.”

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive, sportscotland said: “At sportscotland we are building a world-class sporting system at every level and inclusivity is a very important part of that system.

“Events like the Para Sport Festival are a fantastic way to showcase the sporting opportunities available to young people with physical or sensory impairments. Some of Scotland’s Paralympians were discovered at events just like this, while many more people have discovered a love of sport through participating in the activities on offer.”

The event is delivered in partnership by Edinburgh Active Schools, Scottish Disability Sport and Lothian Disability Sport and receives significant support from all local authorities across the East of Scotland as well as Edinburgh Leisure.