As part of our #MakingChristmasCount campaign, we want to highlight the importance of amplifying disabled people's voices and putting their experiences at the centre of disability activism.
That's what our #MyWinterMyWords series is all about. We're campaigning to tackle the isolation that this season present for disabled people, but it's also important to celebrate the stories of our community members.
Today, we’re hearing from Club Hillingdon member, Jacob.
Jacob is registered as sight impaired with loss of peripheral vision and depth perception. This means that, when he played football with his friends, he would often still be running in one direction as he hadn’t seen the ball change direction.
This and the fact he can’t see to gauge speed and distance made it difficult to throw, catch, or kick a ball, ultimately making it hard for him to join in. He was often left out of games or sports.
That all changed when he joined Club Hillingdon. Jacob also received his own sports equipment pack through our #ActiveAtHome scheme, including brightly coloured or larger objects that are easier for him to see and use. This has empowered him to be able to join in with sports sessions, both online and in person.
Speaking about the impact that inclusive sport has had in his life, Jacob says:
“I got into sport to have fun and get fit, to be able to take part in sports like my friends. I enjoy learning new sports and skills like Boccia and Polybat as well as making new friends.
“Sport has helped me to learn new skills and work with others as a team. I have more confidence to join in and take part in PE at school now too.
“My older brother sometimes joins me at the club and he was able to show staff at school how they can adapt sports for me with my visual impairment to take part easily and more fairly, such as using sound balls and playing games like goalball.
“If it wasn’t for home exercise kit and programme from Disability Sports Coach, I would be sad and lonely at home.
“Because of the home exercise kit and programme, I have been able to keep in touch with my friends and the coaches through the online zoom activities and I’ve been able to make new friends and have fun exercising.”
To help us reach more disabled young people like Jacob 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.