Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) joined forces with Short Breaks fund, Wheelpower and Celtic FC Foundation to run a 4 day residential sports summer camp for 40 young people with a physical or sensory impairment – which included 25 wheelchair users. The aim of the camp is to introduce participants to a range of activities in a fun, active and safe environment.
All participants have been signposted to local activity and will receive a follow-up after 6 months to determine what activity they have accessed following the camp.
All sessions were led by qualified coaches currently involved in the Scottish Disability Sport programme and supported by SDS staff and a raft of skilled volunteers, including this year Colin Hardie and Kieron McAneny from Celtic FC Foundation who brought a high level of enthusiasm and coaching expertise to proceedings and ensured the participants were engaged and tested throughout.
Kieron said: “On behalf of Celtic FC Foundation Colin and I found this whole experience exceptional. The opportunity to work with such motivated and dedicated young people is inspirational. We sincerely hope this y between Celtic FC Foundation and SDS will continue to flourish as these experiences are invaluable for both volunteers and young people.”
The young people were divided into three teams for all activities which included adapted cycling, archery, water sports in the beautiful surroundings of Loch Insh and a magnificent expedition around the shores of the atmospheric Loch an Eilean. The youngsters also had opportunities to complete significant tasks working collaboratively to achieve a successful outcome in various team building activities.
At the end of the camp the participants enjoyed a final lunch with the new friends they had made over the duration of the camp and winning team was announced following the readings of the limericks the teams were tasked with making up over the course of the expedition.
The feedback from participants and parents has been universally positive and the participants gained so much from the venue and the activities on offer. The participants who use wheelchairs saw their chair skills greatly improve and many of them can now appreciate what is possible and some stated that through the expedition they achieved beyond what they originally thought they were capable of prior to the camp.
The camp organiser Mark Gaffney, Events Manager for SDS, said: “We are indebted to Short Breaks fund, Wheelpower and Celtic FC Foundation for their continued sport of the SDS Summer Camp. The young people have gained confidence and competence across a number of areas which will benefit them hugely in pursuing sport and physical activity at a recreation, development or performance level. They’ve also had to learn to work collectively to achieve a common goal. The element of competition between the three teams ensures that each individual works to their maximum potential. Every individual has learnt a new skill or had a new experience and this is in thanks in no small part to the support we receive from Wheelpower.”
Some feedback from parents and staff:
“She had a great time, was really well looked after and enjoyed the activities & the company of the other kids and adults. Big thumbs up!”
“She loved it. She was desperate to come next year.”
“This is a fantastic event for all children involved. It not only offers my child a great opportunity to try new sports and push their limits offers respite with the knowledge my child is having a fantastic time. The camp allows my child to build relationship with a wide range of people and boast his confidence. I really cannot praise the camp enough, thank you everyone for organising and volunteering, you do a fantastic job!”
“The kids love it, from the moment we collect him he starts talking about next year’s camp.”
Photos from the camp are available at our facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/scottishdisabilitysport/photos