The 2018 Natspec Games have proven to be a resounding success after welcoming more than 270 learners and 29 specialist colleges for the inter-college inclusive sporting event.
The games were held by host colleges including: the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford, Communication Specialist College Doncaster, Havant & South Downs College and Sportcity in Manchester organised by Seashell Trust.
The games took place between the 9th and 25th May 2018, bringing together local colleges and learners with a range of abilities to participate in inclusive sport and try new experiences. The activities were diverse and suitable for each learner and included boccia, shotput, athletics, tennis, cycling, archery and football to name a few.
The events received praise from learners, volunteers and teachers alike. Dan Stephen, a lecturer at Linkage commented that the games put the learners through their paces and provided a healthy challenge. As we approached him, his students were playing football and he said it was great they were able to utilise the space and facilities at Doncaster, which were larger and able to accommodate a wide range of users.
Stacey Betts, Assistant Principal at Communication Specialist College Doncaster, one of the host colleges for the 2018 Natspec Games, commented, ‘It’s about an opportunity to come together – it doesn’t matter what disability the learner may have, they can partake in each activity. It’s inspiring to see learners take part in sports that they otherwise might not have done so and encourages healthy competition!’
Lauren, a teacher at Seashells Trust also weighed in, ‘It brings a lot of value to our learners with Autism. It helps them with socialising and gets all students involved and is really accessible – all the students love it’.
The Natspec Games is in its third year and is a national tournament offering students with a range of disabilities and learning difficulties the same opportunities as everyone else: to get involved in sports.
Clare Howard, Natspec CEO said, ‘We’ve received lots of positive feedback from learners and tutors about how the games have impacted learners and encouraged team-work, competition, and improved confidence. In addition, it’s provided them with an opportunity not usually presented to learners with disabilities and ensures that they can have the same social and educational experience as their peers. We’re pleased to have closed another successful year of the games and look forward to the 2019 tournament and offer more colleges and learners the opportunity to take part in inclusive sport.’