A former Dorset disability care worker recalls both the struggles and importance of sport for disabled children.
Alison Mulholland, a former care worker for Chailey Heritage School, spoke about the sporting opportunities at the school. Located in Sussex, they look to work with children with complex, physical disabilities, sensory impairments and learning difficulties.
Were there many sporting opportunities for the children?
“Yes, they would go swimming in the pool we had at the school and also horse-riding, obviously with the support of the teachers.”
Horseriding, how were they able to do this?
“It was called Therapeutic Riding. They were hoisted onto the horses, strapped on using specialist equipment and someone would always accompany them. We also used hoists to get them in and out of the pool.”
Jack experienced his first hippotherapy session today, which helps him to sit up straight and to strengthen is core muscles. To see a video, please visit our website.https://t.co/bX9YBr4Vzu pic.twitter.com/KGX9kk1RX1
— Chailey Heritage (@ChaileyHeritage) 10 December 2017
Were there any opportunities for the children to play team sports, such as football?
“Because the children couldn’t play independently, participation in team sports was limited.”
Was there any apprehension from the children to take part?
“Obviously they were (apprehensive) to begin with. However they had trust in us (the staff) to make sure they were safe though.”
A more personal question now, but what was the most rewarding aspect of working with the children?
“Seeing the joy on their faces, each child could enjoy positive, enriching experiences that without the equipment or resources we were lucky enough to have, they wouldn’t have been able to.”
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