Jeremy Hunt MP for South West Surrey, officially opened today’s Surrey Para Games with participants from Surrey schools enjoying the sun and first class sporting facilities at The Charterhouse Club in Godalming.
Over 200 young SEND students from schools throughout Surrey took part in a variety of sports including boccia, football, rowing, rugby, swimming, tennis, and sitting volleyball. New this year is Cycling, with Wheels for All, which gave participants the opportunity to compete with a variety of adapted bikes.
The Surrey Para Games, part of the 2017/18 Surrey School Games Programme is open to young people (teams of up to 20 per school) with special educational needs and disabilities in school years 7-10. The event enables sports talent identification and links with National Governing Bodies of sport talent pathways, as well as connections with local clubs for continued participation and involvement after the event.
Jeremy Hunt MP said: “Now our fifth Para Games, it is fantastic that year on year we are able to grow this event, attracting more schools and competitors and offering a broader range of sports and activities. What’s more, this year, we have also attracted more clubs and professional athletes who have embraced the event and in so doing enabled and encouraged more children to take part in sport.”
“The Surrey Para Games would not be possible without the on-going generosity of COINS Foundation and the DFN Charitable Foundation. I must also acknowledge the invaluable contribution that the event organisers, Active Surrey make to the smooth running of the day and my thanks too of course must go to Charterhouse Club for loaning us their first class facility,” Mr Hunt added.
Games Ambassador, Paralympian Rachel Morris MBE, commented: “One thing this year that is especially exciting is the launch of our new fund that means we can now give Clubs an amount of money to benefit young people with a special education need or disability. This money can be used to recruit parallel coaching so young people can work / train with their mainstream peers.
Larry Sullivan from COINS Foundation added: “COINS Foundation and The DFN Foundation are again proud and extremely happy to continue supporting this annual event. It is becoming a firm fixture in the sporting calendar that’s gaining momentum and nuance each year for Surrey schools and all the participants. It is great to be able to expand the range of sports this year and utilise the amazing outdoor space.”