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Friday 18th March 2016
Jeremy Hunt MP Opens ‘Record’ Waverley Para Games
Surrey School Children Attendance up by 30%
Friday 18th March 2016. Jeremy Hunt MP for South West Surrey, officially opened the third Waverley Para Games today with a record number of participants taking part.
The annual event took place at The Charterhouse Club in Godalming, supported by Paralympian Rachel Morris and International Para Dressage Rider Erin Orford.
Over 145 young SEND students (aged 11-14 years) from schools throughout Surrey took part in a variety of sports including tennis, swimming, boccia and sitting volleyball.
Jeremy Hunt MP said: “When I think back to London 2012 I was so inspired by the paralympians – their drive, focus and ambition in overcoming incredible obstacles to reach their elite sporting status. I was determined to try in some way to keep their legacy alive beyond the Games.
“Since the Waverley Para Games were launched in 2013, numbers have steadily increased year on year with attendance up by an incredible 30% this year. What’s more, when we look at some of the data we have from research conducted at last year’s event we can see that participation in the Games gives children more confidence and willingness to participate in new sports outside school. It also tackled obesity which as we can see from the budget is a major priority.
“The success of the Waverley Para Games this year has further strengthened the desire for those of us involved, to continue to grow and develop the event into something even bigger - encouraging more young people to engage with sport.
“The event would not have been possible without the generosity of COINS Foundation and the DFN Charitable Foundation. So too the support of Rachel Morris and Erin Orford for their mentoring and encouragement. I must also acknowledge the invaluable contribution that Active Surrey takes in the organisation as well as our first class venue, the Charterhouse Club.”
Larry Sullivan of COINS added: “To have so many more children taking part in this year’s Games is wonderful. I am pleased that the event has established itself and grown into such a significant sporting fixture for young people with a special educational need or disability in Surrey. COINS is delighted to support the Games and will continue to do so in the future.”
Tuesday 8th March 2016
As the organisers for the third Waverley Para Games announced a record number of schools have enquired about entering a team to next week’s Para Games, The Charterhouse Club became the latest organisation to show its support.
The Godalming health and fitness centre has hosted the games since its launch in 2014 and this year the Club will open its doors for the event on Friday 18th March. More than 100 youngsters with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), aged 11-14 years, from schools throughout Surrey will take part in sporting activities at the Club. As the games grow year-on-year it is hoped this event will attract even more young athletes from the area.
South West Surrey MP, Jeremy Hunt said: “This year’s Games looks set to be the biggest yet. Charterhouse Club is a first class venue and it makes the ideal location for the Waverley Para Games. We are delighted to be able to work with the Club again this year. The facilities are modern and varied and enable participants to take part in a range of activities in a safe environment.
“The Club is very generously making its facilities and team available to us on the day of the games as they have each and every year. The staff at the Club make us all very welcome and many have hands-on experience working with SEND youngsters.”
Tim Ostle, Commercial Director at Charterhouse Club, commented: “We are honoured to host the Waverley Para Games for the third year running. It has become a special event on our calendar and we are looking forward to welcoming local schools, students and VIP guests back to the Club. Year-on-year the event is enjoyed by many young people with special educational needs and disabilities. They so enjoy the opportunity to participate in a range of activities and this event provides them with the chance to try new sports and to progress their talents.”
Active Surrey will be co-ordinating the event. They have considerable experience in organising activities like this, many of which form part of Surrey School Games programme, which boasts a year round calendar of inclusive sport and cultural events for all ages and abilities. All Surrey secondary schools (special and mainstream) have been invited to enter a team into the Waverley Para Games and we are expecting over 100 young people to take part. More information can be found at www.activesurrey.com/schoolgames
Monday 29th February 2016. With the date recently announced by event founder, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP for the third Waverley Para Games, Farnham Paralympian Rachel Morris has confirmed her support for the annual event.
Rachel has been a supporter of The Games since its beginnings. A Gold medalist in hand cycling in the 2008 Olympics and a Bronze medalist in London four years later, Rachel is now part of the GB Para Rowing team and in training for Rio. She said: “I am totally behind the Waverley Para Games and firmly believe the event is just what we need in the area and ultimately nationally to increase the chances for any young person with a disability to achieve excellence in sport and for giving the same opportunities to disabled as able-bodied children in sport from grass roots through to elite.
“The Games have grown into a really important event for the area and for supporting SEND youngsters in gaining better access to sport. Just because your body doesn't work in the way it ideally should doesn't mean you can't have the same dreams and achieve the same goals as your peers. It is vital that teachers, schools and communities enable youngsters with physical and learning disabilities access to the right clubs and training to create these opportunities.”
A new supporter also backing this year’s Waverley Para Games is International Para Dressage Rider Erin Orford. She said: “I knew of the Games but wanted to get more involved this year and am pleased to be able to lend my support. I am looking forward to meeting some of the competitors and talking to them about what they can achieve with a bit of support, hard work and determination.”
Along with her busy training schedule for the many international dressage competitions and her goal of selection at the Rio 2016 Para Games, Erin works for COINS Foundation who are one of the event’s sponsors again this year. Erin added: “Working for COINS Foundation and seeing firsthand the amazing work they do supporting good causes is an incredible experience and I am very happy to be part of the organisation.”
The other event sponsor is The DFN Charitable Foundation established by David Forbes-Nixon. David commented: “The DFN Charitable Foundation is delighted to be partnering with the COINS Foundation to support the Waverley Para Games again and give local children the chance to participate in sport and be inspired by some amazing Paralympians. Giving SEND youngsters access to a wide range of sports opens up their minds to what is truly possible if they work hard and dream a little.”
This year’s Waverley Para Games takes place on Friday 18th March at the Charterhouse Club in Godalming. Each year, more than 100 young SEND students (aged 11-14 years) from schools throughout Surrey have taken part in the Games and it is hoped this year’s event will attract even more athletes.
Jeremy Hunt MP has written to all Surrey Head teachers encouraging them to get involved and hopes to make the Games the biggest and best yet.
February 2016 Update
Third Waverley Para Games Announced for March 18th 2016
Following the success of the 2015 Waverley Para Games event last March, Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey announced today that the date for the third Games has been confirmed for Friday 18th March 2016.
The annual event will once more take place at The Charterhouse Club in Godalming, Surrey with Paralympian Rachel Morris again supporting the event, along with International Para Dressage Rider Erin Orford.
Each year, more than 100 young SEND students (aged 11-14 years) from schools throughout Surrey have taken part in the Games and it is hoped this year’s event will attract even more athletes.
Jeremy Hunt MP said: “I am so pleased that we are in a position to run another Waverley Para Games this year thanks to the generous sponsorship of COINS Foundation and The DFN Foundation.
“This year’s event is looking like it will be even bigger, with new schools taking part from across Surrey. We also hope to be able to offer some new sports in a bid to broaden the appeal and variety on offer to young athletes. To this end, we will be liaising with sport's National Governing Bodies who are interested in developing more community groups for disability sport for young people in the area.
“We will also be working with Active Surrey again who do a great job in coordinating the event to ensure the smooth running of the Waverley Para Games on the day. Roll on more paralympic gold medalists from South West Surrey!”
Wendy Newton, Youth Sports Development Manager, Active Surrey said "We are delighted, for the third year running, to be delivering in the Waverley Para Games project, which has now been fully embedded into the Surrey School Games programme, co-ordinated by Active Surrey. Inclusive events like this enable us to reach more young people who would not otherwise have as many opportunities for competitive participation, especially those with special education needs and disabilities in mainstream schools. Feedback from the schools involved each year is hugely positive and we look forward to running another well supported event in March."
The Games will again be hosted by Charterhouse Club where facilities include a sports hall, several studios, a pool, outdoor athletics and astro pitches. The use of the venue has afforded the opportunity to further expand the Waverley Para Games breadth and reach from increasing the number of participants, diversifying the programme of sports on offer to increasing the breadth of delivery to include a more significant and specialist element of teacher training for local teachers.
Previous Waverley Para Games
Following Jeremy’s involvement with the London 2012 Olympics in his capacity as Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport he has continued to work closely with sports organisations within South West Surrey to ensure that the Olympic legacy is kept alive.
One area of focus which he is particularly passionate about is increasing the provision of inclusive sports for young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disability) within the area. Since the London 2012 Paralympics there has been an enormous amount of work done nationally to increase the access that ~SEND youngsters have to a wide range of sports both within school and as extra curricula activity.
This is something that Jeremy is very keen to secure for young people within his constituency. With the collaboration of the Youth Sports Trust & Active Surrey and with funding from COINS Foundation the first event was held in Waverley in March 2014 with over 100 SEND students from all over Surrey participating.
One of the main aims of the programme will be to nurture young sporting talent in the area and enable them to strive for excellence with the right amount of regular support and provision and the next event is planned for March 2015.