On Thursday 4th July 2019 we welcomed this year’s Surrey Para Games to Charterhouse Club. Jeremy Hunt MP for South West Surrey officially opened the annual event for children throughout the county with special education needs and disabilities (SEND).
Games Ambassadors Paralympian Rachel Morris MBE and National Kayak Champion Chris Carson both gave inspirational talks in front of 250 students who went on to take part in a variety of sports including boccia, cycling, football, rowing, rugby, tennis, and sitting volleyball.
Jeremy Hunt MP said: “Now in our sixth year, The Surrey Para Games has become a firm fixture in the Surrey School Games Programme. It is a fantastic event which continues to get more popular year on year encouraging youngsters to regularly participate in sport.”
Lending her support again this year was multi-medal winning Paralympian, Rachel Morris MBE who said: “The Games continue to deliver on the values of sport and this year were backed up by some amazing young sports leaders who appreciate the challenges many participants are fighting just to attend, let alone participate in sport. They helped facilitate the day and are our future potential coaches who play an invaluable role in helping to get children and adults with disabilities into sport.”
Mackenzie Booker, 13, from New Barn school said: “This was my first Surrey Para Games and it was brilliant. The speakers Rachel and Chris were amazing. I hadn’t been on a bicycle for two years as I became nervous after I fell off. After hearing them speak I decided to try again, and I have been back on a bicycle today and I really enjoyed it!”
The Surrey Para Games is part of the 2018/19 Surrey School Games Programme and open to SEND youngsters 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.
Tim Ostle Commercial Director at Charterhouse Club commented: “This year we were delighted to welcome back the Games to Charterhouse Club as it is an event which benefits so many young people. Our ethos at the Club is to help ensure sport is accessible for all and this annual event is essential as it introduces youngsters with special needs and disabilities to an exciting range of activities that they may never have had the opportunity to try.”
Wendy Newton, from Active Surrey added: “Finding an activity for young disabled people or those with SEND can be a challenge but the rewards that it brings in terms of opening up new worlds and boosting self-esteem can be incalculable. Parents and teachers can see details of opportunities we’re aware of across Surrey by visiting www.activesurrey.com/para-games .”