Enabling activities for everyone

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.

A boy riding a three-wheeled adapted bike
Our Sports Development team Mike and Paul

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.

Karaoke as part of the Reaching Higher project

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:

Carers are confident that children are safe, properly understood, supported and happy. All the activities have been developed in close partnership with talented, trained and qualified leaders, suitable accessible venues, funding providers and most importantly, in consultation with parent, carers and participants.

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 with his sister on a side by side tandem

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 enjoying rebound therapy

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.
They said:

The Reaching Higher activities have allowed us to have a short break and make us feel good that
there are activities that our son can take part in that he couldn’t do otherwise, which takes away our own worries and anxieties. As well as keeping him fit and healthy the activities have given him confidence and boosted his self-esteem.

Ben’s parents

Bringing people together

Paul firmly believes every person should have similar opportunities to experience, enjoy and compete in fulfilling and aspirational  activities. He comments:

The camaraderie and sense of community which comes alongside sharing interests and participating together is really positive. What makes many of these sessions so special is that siblings, family and friends can also take part.

Paul Taylor, Sports Development Officer

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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