Rise in children using sports prosthetics in PE sees charity develop guidance for schools

Two charities have responded to a high number of schools asking for more support to make their PE lessons and activities inclusive for children using sports prostheses

New guidance has been developed by children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust and limb impairment charity LimbPower to support more children to get active and enjoy sport on the back of a £1.5million investment from the Government in 2016 to improve access to activity and sport prosthetics for children.

With the money now being rolled out to support young people, the charities have worked in partnership with schools, young people and their families to develop practical advice and tips.

The partnership has seen the development of a new module within the Youth Sport Trust’s current e-learning platform, TOP Sportsability.

Some of the top tips from the resources for schools include:

  • Speak with the young person about the young person’s needs
  • Understand what they can do, focus on this and build upon it
  • Use your local Mobility/Prosthetic Limb Centre to gain a further understanding to the adaptations that can be made for a young person with a prosthetic. Information can be found via www.limbformation.com
  • Adapt sport sessions so they are fully inclusive. Ensure that the young person is included with their peers, not asked to go to another class or sit themselves.
  • If the young person`s classes are not on the ground floor, arrange where possible for classes to be on the ground floor to limit movement of stairs or young person needing to find a different way to class than their peers
  • Host an assembly or class talk for year groups to promote inclusion. Ensure young people are aware of differences and provide examples of how they can support their peers

St Joseph’s College in Trent Vale is now using the resources to replicate inclusive PE lessons in other subjects.

Gareth Barton, Head of PE, said: “Our PE department are great at thinking of adaptive ways in which we include all students, whether that’s by changing rules, equipment or incorporating leadership roles with the lessons. Our students are also great at supporting SEND students within PE lessons, they always aim to include them with all activities and help the staff to support these students.

“These resources will be invaluable in taking learnings and applying them across a range of different subjects like drama. We also have a large number of school trips and visits throughout the year and resources like this can only enhance the student’s experience of these trips and make everything that they do inclusive.”

Vicci Wells Development Manager at the Youth Sport Trust, said the new resources offer additional support to ensure schools are fully inclusive in their PE, school sport and physical activity offer.

She said: “It is our vision to create a future where every child enjoys the life-changing benefits that come from play and sport. We found that there was a real need to support schools with more guidance on how to make PE lessons and sport in schools more inclusive following this investment by Government and decided to take action following frequent requests.

“We are so proud to be launching this new guidance for schools and working in partnership with LimbPower. It will be a vital tool for schools to help more children to run, swim, play sport and even become the next Paralympians.”

For more information on how schools can access the free resources visit www.youthsporttrust.org/top-sportsability