Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey is delighted to announce the inaugural event of the Waverley Para Games marking the start of a three year programme of inclusive sport for SEND youngsters in Surrey.
The Waverley Para Games was conceived by Jeremy following his involvement in the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in his capacity as then Secretary of State for Culture, Media, Sport and Olympics. Inspired by the paralympians’ drive, focus and ambition in overcoming incredible obstacles to reach their elite sporting status, he resolved to ensure that the Paralympic Legacy survived beyond the games with particular focus on increasing provision of inclusive sport for youngsters in his constituency of South West Surrey.
Having identified that whilst there were young people who were keen to get involved in inclusive sport within their schools and community, more could be done to support them by ensuring they had regular access to a wider range of sports both in schools and local clubs. Talks began shortly after London 2012 and Jeremy enlisted the expertise of Active Surrey and Rodborough School, Milford to advise and help develop a project which included an annual participatory and competitive event supported by a programme of classes and fixtures within schools and communities - and the Waverley Para Games was established.
With the funding support of the COINS Foundation the project has been fully realised and with the additional support of Youth Sport Trust, the Waverley Para Games programme has been opened out Surrey-wide with the first event taking place on Thursday 3rd April at Charterhouse Club, Godalming. The event is included in the P&G Surrey Schools Games, part of the Sainsbury's School Games and will be delivered by CP Sport and will include Boccia, Polybat, Sitting Volleyball, Athletics and New Age Kurling.
Abigail Deffee of COINS Foundation said, ‘COINS Foundation (www.coinsfoundation.org) is delighted to lend its support to the Waverley Para Games; an initiative which actively encourages inclusivity in sport. As a project the Waverley Para Games complements COINS Foundation’s central aim of working towards an inclusive global society by supporting a range of social initiatives to influence future generations to think differently about poverty, disability and injustice.’
Jeremy said, ‘I am so thrilled that the Waverley Para Games is finally a reality. After nearly two years of discussion and with the incredible support of the COINS Foundation and our partners Active Surrey, CP Sport and the Youth Sport Trust and Sport Godalming we have a project underway which will ensure that young people in my constituency and beyond can more easily access inclusive sport in their schools and communities. The London 2012 legacy continues to thrive in this area and we might even get some young participants from Waverley taking part in the Paralympics in Rio or Tokyo as a result.’