Pupils from primary and secondary schools across the county have been competing in a range of sports during the Essex Special School Games. The Games are organised by the Multi-Schools Council in collaboration with Active Essex, the County Sports Partnership, to provide an inclusive event designed for students with special needs or disabilities.
This year, the games were hosted at Basildon Sporting Village and featured a wide variety of sport and activities. Over 200 children took part from 10 schools across Essex with students of all ages invited to participate in a number of sports and activities including 5 a side football, tennis, athletics, New Age Kurling, Zone Basketball, Kwik cricket and boccia.
The day was opened by All Together Ambassador Justine Harrington, 28, from Basildon, who performed a song she composed called ‘Don’t Tell Me’. Justine was born with a visual impairment and hopes to encourage more disabled people in Essex to get involved with physical activity and sport through the launch of her new song.
Having been involved with the inclusive Active Essex ambassador scheme ‘All Together’ since 2017, Justine has used her passion to help break down some of the misconceptions around disability sport. She said; “These games were created to give people the opportunity to show themselves as well as others what they are capable of when given the chance.”
Each activity was led by expert coaches and supported by over 50 young leaders from The Colne Community School & College, Ormiston Park Academy, Ramsey Academy and James Hornsby School.
Azeem Akhtar, Chair of Active Essex said; “This event has gone from strength to strength and it has been very exciting to see young people with special educational needs and disabilities across the county having the opportunity to participate in such a wide variety of sports, make new friends and have some fun.”
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Sport and Physical Activity said; “We are thrilled to have hosted another successful Special School Games enabling children to compete and enjoy a range of sporting activities and hopefully inspire a future generation of Paralympians in Essex.”
To find out more about the Essex Special Summer School Games visit www.activeessex.org
Watch Justine Harrington discuss her involvement in the Special School Games here