We reported a year ago (here) how Royal Club Area Development Officers Judith McFarlane and David Horne got involved in the inaugural Renfrewshire Special Games whose function is to promote the education and welfare of children with physical, sensory or learning disabilities through sport.
This year David was back with leave from the Braehead rink, where he is the ACDO, to head up a group of volunteer curling coaches to run an indoor curling station at the event. He recruited several Braehead volunteer coaches including Michael McCreadie who is also a former wheelchair world wheelchair curling champion. Michael was 'well chuffed' to be asked to officially open the games!
More than 400 children with physical, sensory and learning disabilities took part in the Games at Linwood Sports Centre. This year the games were expanded into a three day festival of sport to accommodate the increase in competitor numbers which was up by nearly 40% on last year's event.
The competitors were drawn from across Renfrewshire's schools, including Kersland School, Clippens School and the Mary Russell School. Over the three days, Linwood Sports Centre played host to a variety of sports including new age kurling, golf, football, netball, athletics, martial arts, dance, badminton and boccia.
Councillor Lorraine Cameron, convenor of Renfrewshire Council's education policy board, said: "We are delighted to be able to build on the success of last year's inaugural Renfrewshire Special Games. This event gives our young people, who have a disability, the opportunity to take part in a range of sporting activities led by qualified and experienced coaches. They have a chance to try a whole variety of activities and find an activity which they like and are good at, and which are accessible for them in the community. This event is a great way of raising the profile of sport for young people with a disability in Renfrewshire and is run in partnership with a number of community groups which provide essential support and voluntary staff from University of West of Scotland, the Royal Caledonia Curling Club, Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, Kilbarchan Amateur Athletics Club, St Mirren Football Club and Clippens School Parent Support Group."
Michael McCreadie photo (below) courtesy of David Horne. On the left is Councillor Derek McKay (Leader of Renfrewshire Council) and on the right is Patricia Cassidy (Leisure and Cultural Services Manager).
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