Disability Tennis for young people in Bedford

Following a youth forum in early 2020 to discuss sport and physical activity in Bedford it was clear that there was a need to support young people with disabilities to become more physically active in a safe and comfortable environment. Insight had also shown that participants wanted affordable sessions in a quiet, relaxing and accessible venue with a rewards and recognitions programme in place.

Riverside Tennis Club, team BEDS&LUTON and Transitions UK (a charity working with disadvantaged young people) partnered to create the Satellite Club Project 'Achieve. The project aims were to support young people with disabilities to become more physically active in a safe and comforting environment, building their confidence and helping to develop their individual skills and capabilities.

The project required a resilient partnership for the project to be successful. For example Transitions UK managed the marketing, ensuring the sessions ran weekly and obtained feedback. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, Transitions UK created a safe online platform to secure the project's launch and delivery, allowing the young people to gradually build their confidence in the comfort of their own homes. Riverside planned and delivered each physical activity session, taking into consideration the individual needs of the young people and providing a fun and nurturing environment with a familiar coach. Riverside also supported Transitions UK with online delivery, building relationships with the young people ahead of face-to-face sessions.

We provided the Satellite Club Project with £2500 of funding to support delivery until March 2021, including the project's initial launch via social media. We also co-ordinated the partners to collectively plan and deliver the targeted project, providing insight and an evaluation framework.

Results so far

Jade Horsley (Satellite Club Link Officer, team BEDS&LUTON) said:

"It's a pleasure to have supported this project and create a strong partnership with Riverside Tennis Club & Transitions UK to provide an inclusive project for young people to be active during the ongoing pandemic and beyond. It's lovely to see the impact of the project on the young people and the enjoyment it's given during such a challenging period."

Transitions UK (Project Lead) said:

"I am delighted with the partnerships and relationship we have formed with all involved. Neil is a fantastic positive coach who is able to engage and reassure all young people involved."

Young Participant said:

"The coaches exercise routines are great because it gets you up and going and keeps your mind busy. It's great for me because I can challenge myself to train harder and keep a positive mind-set."

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