#MyWinterMyWords - Zain's Story
We have been putting a spotlight on the experiences of our members through their own words - highlighting the importance of amplifying disabled people's voices in all of our disability activism.
For the latest instalment of our #MyWinterMyWords series, we’re hearing from long-standing Club Wandsworth member, Zain.
Zain is autistic and has experienced delayed speech development and reduced mobility due to fine motor skills. Before he discovered Disability Sports Coach, there was a severe lack of suitable clubs or classes in his area that would encourage his development outside of a school setting.
However, when Club Wandsworth opened, Zain was one of the first members to join, and has come on leaps and bounds ever since, attending as many sessions, events and online activities as possible. He has also benefitted from a home equipment pack, allowing him to stay active at home with inclusive items.
His family attests that Zain’s confidence has grown both in his physical capabilities and his self-belief. Zain himself says:
“I love DSC because of my friends and the coaches who are nice to me. I love the sports we do.”
Zain continues to grow and gain new skills, having started a 3 year course at Merton college in September 2021.
To help us reach more disabled young people like Zain with the power of inclusive sport, please consider donating to Disability Sports Coach today.
Just £20 would allow us to deliver an inclusive online activity class so people can keep active and connected with friends.
We'd love to work with your business to change the lives of more young people like Zain. Get in touch and get involved today.
Grace - My Story
When Grace first started at Club Wandsworth, she was reluctant to walk unsupported. Today Grace happily dribbles a football without help. Grace additionally represents Club Wandsworth’s team at DSC Sports Days in sports such as football.
As well as the improvements in Grace’s physical abilities allowing her to take part in fun competition, Grace is now able to play sports in the park with her family. A few years ago Grace would have had to watch. This reflects the wider social benefits of being able to enjoy sport. Grace’s mother Meagan said “Before Disability Sports Coach’s local club there was not a sports session suitable for Grace. Grace’s physical improvements have been amazing to see since she started attending the club; I don’t know what we’d do without DSC.”
Grace is a true celebrity at Club Wandsworth. When Grace walks in everyone stops what they’re doing to welcome her. This year in particular Grace’s competitive streak has emerged as her ability has improved. Grace loves to win points against the coaches and volunteers in tennis and badminton. Volunteer/Coach Graham who has worked with Grace comments that the greatest difference is that “today Grace’s parents do not need to support Grace through all parts of the session.“
Coaches at Club Wandsworth sing Grace’s praises - Emma commented, “Grace’s infectious personality and determination comes out the more you work with her.” Before Graham added, “Grace is lively and makes coaching really enjoyable.”
Grace’s story demonstrates that developing sporting ability and confidence can not only bring out character but can improve the quality of leisure time with family and friends.
We would love to hear from you and work with your business to change the lives of more people like Grace.
Looking Back on Eight Years of Support from the National Lottery Fund
This year, we are celebrating eight years of support from The National Lottery through the National Lottery Community Fund.
The Fund distributes over £600m a year to communities across the UK, raised by players of The National Lottery.
We are incredibly lucky to have received over £860,000 in funding from the Community Fund since 2013, which has helped us to run our weekly Community Clubs and other inclusive sport projects across London.
Through this vital support, The National Lottery has played a key role in our work empowering disabled people with the chance to keep active and connected with friends.
Thanks to the National Lottery, we’ve reached over 20,000 disabled people across London with the power of inclusive sport, which is so important for mental, physical and social wellbeing.
Check out this video to get an idea of some of the work the Fund has supported, and hear from a couple of our longstanding members saying a huge thank you to everyone who has played over the past nine years and helped us to spread the joy of inclusive sport across London and beyond! https://youtu.be/ZidwU9vxsx8