Disability Sport Fife (DSF) is committed to encouraging para athletes to become involved in teaching and coaching particularly after they have retired from competitive sport. Who better to inspire, encourage and retain members within our movement than those who have enjoyed the benefits of sports participation and want others to share similar experiences.
Lucy Walkup represented Great Britain at two Deaflympics and numerous other World and European Championships. Lucy retired from performance swimming and is now a student at the University of Stirling and coaching and teaching in the Stirling area. Craig Smith from FINS was a very promising competitive physically disabled swimmer but has taken time out from training to concentrate on his studies and his future career. Like Lucy, Craig now has a Level 1 swimming award and has signed up to the sportscotland/ Scottish Disability Sport inclusive coach programme. Both Lucy and Craig are being supported through their early months as coaches/teachers/volunteers and are benefiting from the experience.
DSF has encouraged a number of present athletes to train as volunteer support coaches and their contribution to the DSF weekly programme of sports activity sessions is very significant. Steven Anderson, Adam Faulds, Briony Clark and Ryan Spearman for example support DSF weekly multi sports sessions and bowls, boccia, racquet sports and run, jump and throws specifically. Their regular contribution has enhanced greatly the learning experience of children, young people and adults with physical, sensory or learning disabilities.
Paralympian Kieran Steer was a member of Team GB at the Games in Rio earlier this year. Kieran is a world class boccia player and has already considered coaching as a career by attending a UKCC Level 1 Boccia course. Kieran jumped at the chance offered by DSF to work with novice player Tyler McLelland from Glenrothes . The pair met for the first time at the Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre and hit it off immediately. Sessions are supported by the Fife Sports and Leisure Trust plus DSF and on the first week coach Claire Morrison attended to offer advice and direction. Kieran and Tyler are booked to work together every Monday up until Christmas.
As with any aspiring young athlete, supportive parents are critical and Tyler has a very enthusiastic family behind him. 10 year old Tyler is also attending the DSF run, jump and throws sessions at Pitreavie Stadium where he has made a major impact with coaches in only a couple of weeks. Tyler now has a set of DSF practice boccia balls and a huge desire to develop his skills as a boccia player and athlete. With Kieran and the other DSF coaches behind him all the way Tyler will undoubtedly make steady progress.
Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife