On Wednesday the 5th of July, young people with disabilities from all over Scotland congregated at the National Sports Centre Inverclyde for what can only be described as an action packed few days! On arrival participants were split into 3 teams who then competed against each other over the 3 days to see who would be crowned Summer Camp Champions for 2017!
On day 1 the teams went head to head into the gym, competing in the “SDS Superstars” event. This activity required the team members to work together and think outside the box as athletes had to complete various challenges using heavy weights. The participants and staff then competed in a 200m time trial on the rowing machines which certainly brought out the competitiveness of the athletes and staff. It was like the teams were competing for gold in Rio! After a very busy afternoon everyone was feeling pretty tired, thankfully a barbeque and sunshine helped everyone to recover. Wednesday night saw the teams compete again, this time doing activities such as boccia, goalball, hockey, golf and many more.
After a great night’s sleep in the newly refurbished accommodation the participants were raring to go for day 2. With the competition heating up it was all to play for with teams taking part in an orienteering challenge full of clues and riddles which made everyone think hard and work together to gain the points. Campers also took part in Archery where there were definitely some future stars of the sport taking part with some fantastic shooting on display. Cycling proved to be a big hit as the three teams battled it out in a time trial round the course. I’m not sure who was more determined to get the fastest time… the staff or the campers. Blazing saddles helped to give every participant the opportunity to cycle with a variety of adapted bikes to suit everyone’s needs. After a quick break for lunch the athletes were back at it with one group doing water sports whilst the other did their SDS Superstars Challenge.
The water sports involved a variety of activities from an exhilarating trip around the loch on a speed boat to a more sedate paddle in a canoe or kayak. Despite the rain everyone smiled from ear to ear all afternoon.
Soaking but satisfied everyone headed back to Inverclyde for some ice cream which helped fuel our brains for the evening quiz. With each team excelling at different rounds the quiz was closely contested but the green team eventually won through.
The last morning saw the final chance to grab some last minute points. The Military Mayhem challenge was organised by non-other than camp legend John De Courcy! Teams were put through their paces having to create a marching routine, shoot targets and complete an assault course as a team, which included running with an injured soldier in a sling! The staff thoroughly enjoyed this activity as they got to dress up and get saved by the young people! There was some great cohesion on show from all the teams throughout the tasks
After the morning’s tasks, everyone sat down for lunch before the highly anticipated reveal of the SDS Camp Champions 2017! With excitement and anticipating filling the room Mark announced the placings for the camp. In third place was the Red team, closely followed by the Green team and the Blue team were crowned SDS Summer Camp Champions for 2017!
Apart from the fierce competition, Summer Camp is all about giving young people with disabilities the opportunity to try new sports, meet new people and learn new skills. Throughout my time at summer camp I have seen so many people develop and grow into fantastic young athletes. Summer camp has given me lots of opportunities and helped my personal development as well as motivating me to continue to improve myself physically and mentally. None of this would be possible without the support of Celtic Football Foundation and the National Lottery Big Fund Scotland, so a massive thanks from me and all the other participants!
By Gemma Lumsdaine
Young Person Sport Panel Member