Edition: March 2023
Our Sports Development team at Horsham District Council have a great track record of establishing and supporting inclusive activities for users with a wide range of additional needs.
The activities on offer also enable essential respite moments for parents and carers.
Activities currently on offer
Horsham Wheels for ALL is a weekly inclusive cycling session run in partnership with West Sussex County Council and Bikeability trained leaders. There are a wide range of specialist adapted bikes and trikes including handcycles and wheelchair bikes to get everybody riding.
The Reaching Higher Project offers a diverse range of inspiring arts and sports activities that take place weekly during term time, including athletics, digital video production, DJ'ing, inclusive football, karaoke, rebound therapy (using trampolines for therapeutic exercise) and cricket.
The weekly Ready and Able Disability Sports Club has been running for over 30 years and offers a variety of sports and swimming sessions for people with additional needs aged 16 and over.
The Disability Swimming Programme is run in partnership with Places Leisure and Christ’s Hospital Enterprises. The programme provides a range of disability swimming sessions across the Horsham District.
Our Sports Development Officer, Paul Taylor, speaks passionately about creating the right environment to enable participants to thrive. He commented:
Huge successes achieved
Inclusive cricket was pioneering when we introduced it in our area and has now been mirrored across West Sussex, providing much better options for competitive play, enabling the children and young people with additional needs to play matches and showcase their talent.
Great opportunities to progress
Participants in the inclusive football sessions, run in partnership with Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, can progress through to impairment specific sessions which enable peer competition. They can then progress further to national league teams which include Deaf, Cerebral Palsy, Amputee and Powerchair teams playing across the country.
Alazar improves his mobility
Many of our participants have seen fantastic personal health improvements. Alazar, who has Cerebral Palsy was a full-time wheelchair user when he started attending Wheels for ALL. He is now able to arrive trackside at the club walking with aids. His muscle development achieved through cycling has been credited for improving his mobility. He won the 2020 Bikeability Trainee of the Year award and was able to cycle a whole mile unaided at the group’s annual sponsored Downs Link ride.
Callum becomes a role model
Some of the participants now act as role models for the next group of participants. Callum who has Cerebral Palsy and was told he would be unable to ride a bike has been through a mentoring programme and is now a support worker at the Horsham Wheels for ALL sessions, inspiring and mentoring the new recruits.
Ben becomes an all-rounder
Ben has been attending activities for almost 10 years and currently takes part in karaoke, rebound therapy, DJ'ing and cycling. Ben’s parents report that his independence as well as his ability to deal with change and challenge has grown since joining the clubs.
Bringing people together
Paul firmly believes every person should have similar opportunities to experience, enjoy and compete in fulfilling and aspirational activities. He comments:
Can you help?
If you are inspired to support our inclusive offer, maybe you would like to donate, or sponsor a piece of equipment that would help users to ignite a passion. Please contact Paul for an informal chat on 07764 146339 or email him at paul.taylor@ horsham.gov.uk to find out how you could help.
Find out more
If you want to find out more about the inclusive activities on offer, please visit our website
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