Over 500 people take part in Ayrshire’s Festival of Sport

Ayrshire Sportsability at Ayrshire College's Kilmarnock campus
Ayrshire Sportsability at Ayrshire College's Kilmarnock campus

Ayrshire Sportsability’s recent Festival of Sport was a huge success, over 500 pupils and adults enjoying disability sport activities across the week at Ayrshire College.

Ayrshire Sportsability co-hosts the annual event with development partners East, North and South Ayrshire Councils and Ayrshire College.

This enables all the councils’ pupils with disabilities in mainstream and Assisted Support Need schools, and adults from the local communities, to try out sports which they may not usually have access to. They included athletics, basketball, boccia (similar to bowls), dance, football, handball, martial arts and sitting volleyball.

Support and advice was provided by advisors from KA Leisure, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Scottish Disability Sports and sportscotland, plus two members of Scotland boccia team, Reegan Stevenson and Ross Munro, helped out with boccia.

The pair - who have been nominated for the College Candidate of the Year award at the SQA Star Awards later this year - recently earned silver medals at the Scottish Boccia Invitational.

Reegan also won a silver medal at the Cerebral Palsy World Games 2018, held in Barcelona this August.

Reegan said “The whole week has been fantastic, it’s good to see so many kids here. It’s been great to be able to inspire people to take up sport. We want them to have a taste of these sports and say ‘I want to come back again and keep playing’.”

Ross said “We’ve had a great weekend competing against some of the best players throughout the UK, and now we’ve been leading the boccia station here all week. This is a great experience and it gets us familiar with coaching people with disabilities.”

Dr Wai-yin Hatton, co-founder of Ayrshire Sportsability and former Ayrshire College Vice-chair said, “The aim of Ayrshire Sportsability is to promote and provide sporting opportunities for people with disabilities. We want to encourage participation in physical activities as well as develop pathways for those wishing to progress to podium level performance. Support from schools, local clubs and our partners have made this event a success year-on-year.”