“Working in new ways and overcoming barriers and challenges that restrict participation in sport and physical activity can be exhausting, but the outcomes can be life-changing!” says Lyndsey Barrett, Director and Senior Occupational Therapist at Sport for Confidence.
Sport for Confidence programmes place health professionals and specialist coaches into leisure centres to provide inclusive sporting opportunities to people who face barriers to participation, including those with learning disabilities, mental health issues, dementia, autism, physical impairment or disability, homelessness, and many other complex health needs.
The role of the health professional and sports coaches ensure the environment is accessible and sessions are adaptive, making reasonable adjustments and breaking down barriers to ensure that a person’s first experience is a positive one.
Formed in 2015, hundreds of participants and their family carers attend sessions every week. Physical activities include boccia, trampolining, swimming, tennis and when we caught up with them rugby! It was a lively session and nearly as noisy as Twickenham itself and in true New Zealand style the team decided to treat us to a thunderous rendition of the Haka!