Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Making Sport Accessible for every child

Local support group Little Hiccups is seeking funding to start a regular disability multi-sports event for Under 8’s.

The group enjoying the Disabled Sports Day
Scientific research across disability groups reveals participation in sport and physical activity leads to improved levels of physical health and well-being.

Most Sports Centre’s now offer Disability Multi-Sports Day but these are generally aimed at children over the age of 8. For those parents with under 8’s there is very little out there. 

If you have a child with special needs or disabilities you will know the frustration of trying to find a sport activity that your child can join in.

Most mainstream sports accept all children but the reality is that a child with disabilities just cannot compete at the same level as the rest of the team.

Little Hiccups, a Yorkshire based group that provides support for families who have children with special needs or disabilities, recently arranged for a Disability Multi-Sport Day for Under 8’s which was accessible to all.

It was run by two coaches, Brad Spurrs and Nick Smith who were excellent role models for the children as both have a disability and compete to quite a high level in their respective sports – Brad in cricket and Nick in Wheelchair Racing.

Coaches Brad and Nick entertained the children beautifully with fun and accessible playground games and FUNdamentals which was basic coordination games.

Isabelle enjoying the sports day
Rochelle, mum of Isabelle visited the disability multi-sport day that Little Hiccups organised. She says “There is just nothing out there for young disabled children, and Isabelle had a great time on the day we attended. It's rare that she gets to join in sports and activities that able bodied children are able to access as most are geared towards children who can run or jump, or older disabled children. It just doesn't seem fair! I think it'd be great for their physical and social development.”

Coach Brad Spurrs understands more than most the frustration of being unable to participate in mainstream sports and is keen to support Little Hiccups in this venture.

Sasha Hopkinson, mum of a disabled child says “we are yet to come across any sport via Leeds City Council or other  for under 8’s that will  provide for Adam, with his level of understanding and physical ability”. She is one of the families keen to join in Little Hiccup’s scheme.

Little Hiccups Event Organiser, Miriam Watson says “Little Hiccups is all about allowing children with disabilities to access areas they perhaps could not normally access. On organising our multi-sport event, we were surprised to find that there was not more out there for under 8’s and from the feedback from families there is obviously a demand.  It is vital that we get the financial support as it cannot go ahead without this.”

Little Hiccups is a support group that has been set up by families who have children with special needs.

Through personal experience they recognise the importance of allowing the parents and families of a child with a disability the opportunity to meet people in similar situations, to make friends and support each other. Little Hiccups runs a bi-monthly support group for under 5’s in Leeds and organises a fun monthly outing that the whole family can attend.

You can contact Little Hiccups through our website, by email on or mobile on 0783 123 0741.