Written by Active Essex
Over the past year we’ve been working with Activity Alliance to train coaches to support children with special educational needs and disabilities at our Essex ActivAte holiday clubs. Since March 2021, 70 people have attended the Inclusive Activity Programme specialist online inclusion training.
Vital Training for Essex ActivAte Delivery Partners
Within our ever growing Essex ActivAte Holiday Activities and Food programme, Active Essex work with over 100 delivery partners across Essex and beyond, so we aim to ensure that every club is inclusive. Activity Alliance’s Inclusive Activity Programme has been a fantastic opportunity to upskill coaches at each Essex ActivAte club. The training supported coaches to learn and embed the key principles of inclusion into their sessions, so that all children could enjoy and take part in activities.
The Activity Inclusion Model (AIM) and Youth Sport Trust’s STEP tool allows for a person-centred approach. The tools help coaches delivering Essex Activate clubs to modify and progress activities. The tools support inclusion of disabled people and makes sure every participant can take part at an appropriate level.
Active Essex team member, Hayley Chapman, said: “The great thing about the Inclusive Activity Programme is that training can be delivered online. The online classrooms were a great way to reach all our coaches and deliverers at the same time, regardless of any pandemic restrictions.”
For our Essex ActivAte holiday programme, we want every child and young person to take part and have a fantastic experience. Our aim was for each club to have at least one inclusion champion complete the Inclusive Activity Programme training, so they could deliver inclusive, fun, and memorable experiences for all participants at the Essex ActivAte clubs. We hope the longer-term impact of this training will be that by improving staff confidence and disability awareness, they will embed inclusive practice into their work every day and include disabled people in their community sessions and wider work.
We caught up with two of our ActivAte delivery partners, to find out their views on the training programme…
Supporting Wider Active Essex Work
In July 2021, Active Essex launched a new strategy ‘Fit for the Future’ with a vision of ‘an active Essex to improve everyone’s health and wellbeing’. Central to the strategy is the importance of tackling the inequalities that prevent people from being active. One of the six ‘Foundations for Success’ in our strategy is people development. We highlighted the need for sport and physical activity to be delivered by a diverse range of people who are inclusive and skilled. The training available from the Inclusive Activity Programme directly supported our aim for people development across Essex.
We know that 4 in 5 disabled people want to be more active. So, creating inclusive environments where coaches, instructors and volunteers have the confidence and the tools to tailor their activities, is key to increasing positive opportunities for disabled people. The Inclusive Activity Programme tutors are very knowledgeable and tailor the training to meet the background of the learners. We hope to run many more courses in 2022.