All in Islington – Championing inclusive sport

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by Hasti Razaghi

There are 9.4 million disabled people in England, who might not be able to enjoy sports and feel included in the community that it can bring.

All in Islington is a project that helps disabled people in Islington, both children and adultes, to be active and participate in sports. With different locations all over the area, people can do anything from blind Zumba, wheelchair tennis, dance, and chair-based yoga and Pilates. Classes cater to people with both physical and learning difficulties.

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Pete Jones, Head of Community and Outreach – Participation Team at Middlesex Cricket said: ‘Sport is important for everyone. We are all aware of the health benefits of taking part in regular activities as well as the wider mental health benefits of a regular session with different people mixing together under the banner of sport.’

Every week there are different events and activities, the latest are new classes for people who suffer from Fibromyalgia Syndrome, chronic fatigue and chronic pain.

The sports club has information meetings for newcomers and a lot of people feel like their life has more joy. In one case, a girl called Alison started to play badminton with Islington’s Elfrida Society, which helps people with learning disabilities. She is now training to become a badminton coach, the All in Islington website said.

Another story featured an adolescent called Grace, who has Down’s syndrome. Her parents were worried that she wasn’t getting enough physical activity, but due to special programmes such as multi-sport sessions for disabled people she now enjoys a full range of events.

According to Jones; ‘It gives the participants an opportunity to develop numerous skills and due to the nature of the activity, the participants see almost instantaneous results.’

For more information, visit http://www.allinislington.org.uk.

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