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SEN school programme reports 2013/14

Ajay Sharma took over the role of leading our programmes in SEN schools in April 2014. Below is a brief overview of the 2013-14 academic year from his point of view. You can read each of our SEN school programme reports here.

In 2013-14 our school-based programmes – which increased to ten in May – and community swim club provided young people with SEN a huge range of intensive, fun and stimulating sessions aimed at developing a life-long love of sport and activity. Our eleven multisport head coaches and three swim teachers – with the support of over twenty volunteers and numerous school teaching assistants and care staff – helped over 1,000 young people improve their life chances.

We upped our game in 2013-14: we worked more as a team, offered a greater variety of activities, and used a more structured and progressive approach to the development of each of our young people. The Greenhouse Sports Inclusive Swim Club, based at St Paul’s Girls School in Hammersmith, became the first swim club in London to achieve Amateur Swimming Association Swim21 Learn to Swim Accreditation. The club also won the Hammersmith and Fulham ‘Inclusive and Active’ Award, repeating its success of two years earlier. Amy Marren, world champion Paralympic swimmer, continued actively to support the club in her role as Greenhouse Sports ambassador.

Joe West, Head of PE at Swiss Cottage School, was one of the many staff at our partner schools keen to endorse our work this year;

“Greenhouse Sports is a great organisation to work with – they have helped us to expand and enrich our sports programme here at the school. The work of our two Greenhouse Sports coaches helps to engage and motivate children and young people with a range of SEN to be active, develop skills, achieve and enjoy, and participate fully in an inclusive sports programme that goes beyond a standard curriculum.”

Many of our young people made great progress during the year. This was often due to the close relationship that they developed with our coaches by working with them every week of the year. On other occasions, however, our hugely experienced coaches brought about life-enhancing change almost immediately, as the parent of one of our young people was proud to point out;

“I am delighted that I brought Pete to Islington because in all our time in Dundee nobody got him even to straighten his legs in swimming, then you did it in about five minutes!”