Encouraging Team-Work and Confidence with Boccia

At the heart of QES, is our Learning Support Department, which plays a very special role within school life for many pupils. The aim of the department is to help students develop socially and emotionally as well as academically.

An important part of Learning Support is the Sports Club, which has an inclusive ethos where everyone is welcome no matter what their ability. The majority of young people who participate in our activities are on the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) register or have an additional need for enhanced pastoral support. The aim of the club is to encourage team-work, build confidence, develop friendships and promote wellbeing and healthy living. This is all done through the medium of sport that is accessible to all. The Sports club was first established 15 years ago, and now runs every Thursday lunchtime with up to 20 members attending.

The main sport we play is Boccia, this is hugely popular and always great fun for all. Boccia is a game of strategy and accuracy that was originally designed to be played by people with Cerebral Palsy. Now, the sport includes athletes with a range of impairments.

The sport is played on a flat, smooth surface, where players must throw or roll coloured balls as close as possible to a white target ball, known as the “jack.” The player, pair or team with the most balls near the jack is the winner.

Thanks to funding from The Michelle Jurd Trust, last summer we attended several sports tournaments including a SEND rounders tournament at Kirkby Kendal School. We also had an end of term trip to play footgolf at Bentham Golf Course and a wonderful time was had by all.

This academic year we have been able to place an order for a table on which to play indoor Boccia and an indoor Boccia set. This allows us to play Boccia every week even if our usual venue is unavailable.

Our Boccia club is a vital haven for many children who struggle to socialise and for whom the pressures of school life can be overwhelming. Without your generous funding, we would not have been able to buy this equipment and we are very grateful. Next month we are attending the Boccia County championships where we hope to retain our title as County champions.

We have joined Boccia England, through which our members are going to be taking part in a 10-week training scheme where they will learn the rules of Boccia and acquire new skills, in order to gain a qualification awarded by Boccia England. We are also training three young leaders(Students). We intend to take part in more fixtures this year and will, of course, keep you posted on our progress. Once again, many thanks for your generous donation, it really does make a difference.

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