Fast tracking fun and games at disability sports festival

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Children with disabilities flocked to Tweedbank Leisure Complex from across the region for a morning of fun sporting activities.

The annual Disability Regional School Festival also gave the youngsters a chance to showcase their skills with a view to stepping onto the Para-sport pathway.

Now truly established as a flagship event, 110 children from 17 schools took part, with local clubs, coaches, Sports Development Officers, Active Schools co-ordinators and volunteers running sessions covering a whole range of activities.

Alan Oliver, Live Borders Disability Sport Development Officer, believes the festival provides an excellent opportunity for all children to experience a variety of sports and that the coaches in attendance can then adapt the sport to suit different abilities in after school sessions.

“This partnership enables further opportunities for children with a disability to go along and participate in local club sessions and develop their sporting ambitions,” he said.

In addition to the multi sports event, the inaugural Secondary Schools Athletics Track and Field Pentathlon took place with pupils participating in 60 and 200 metres races, shot putt, javelin and long jump with medals presented to the top three athletes in each discipline. This was the first sport specific event with a competitive element to be included in the festival.

“This was a pilot which created huge enthusiasm within schools and again, having as a regional event, it bodes well for all participating and the possibilities for future representation further afield,” added Oliver.

The Festival was sponsored, once again, by Scottish Building Society, ensuring that it remains open to all Borders schools and that adequate provisions are put in place to allow all the children to have a fantastic experience.

Ewan Jackson, Chief Executive of Live Borders said: “The contribution of Scottish Building Society makes the festival one of a kind and enables us to attract experienced coaches and supply specialised equipment so that everyone can take part in some capacity.

“The Disability Regional School Festival is growing year on year and to have so many local organisations and individuals involved is a great testament to the passion for sport here in the Borders.”