Funding towards the Special Olympics program
Earlier this year Special Olympics Gateshead Tyne and Wear secured funding from the Newcastle Fund Round 9 to deliver ‘Project Inclusion’, a project serving to allow children and adults with disabilities in Newcastle to gain the many benefits that the Special Olympics programme can bring in terms of making new friends, gaining personal confidence, inclusion and talent. Since April 2019, Special Olympics Gateshead Tyne and Wear, has on a weekly basis, attended Walkergate Community School, Trinity Academy (Deneview) and the Welford Centre, and delivered the sports of football, athletics and a Motor Activities Training Programme to pupils and service users. Even within the first 5 months, ‘Project Inclusion’ has been a great success with over 60 people already taken part and there was no finer example of this than by the Motor Activities Training Programme (MATP) challenge day which was held at the Welford Centre (Newcastle City Council’s Resource Centre for adults with complex disabilities) yesterday.
12 weeks of Motor Activities practice in the areas of ‘striking’, ‘kicking’, dexterity’ and ‘mobility’ led to the most wonderful display by 7 Welford Centre athletes yesterday in the Challenge Day, whereby, each athlete completed sporting challenges which allowed them to showcase their talents in front of their peers, support staff and family carers. The look of concentration on each athlete as they completed their task was a sight to behold and the roar of the crowd as each athlete completed their challenge was thrilling. Marquisway Resource Centre’s wheelchair dance started the event off and medals were given to all athletes by Ewan Weir (Executive Director) and Alison McDownell (Service Director) from Newcastle City Council. The challenge day was another milestone event for the Special Olympics Gateshead Tyne and Wear programme and celebrated the charity’s developing relationship with the Welford Centre. It truly was a brilliant day and showed clearly that whatever impairment or level of disability anyone has, there is an Olympian in every one of us.