Inter-College Sports Day

On Thursday 21st May, Royal College Manchester hosted the 6th Inter-College Sports Day. Seashell students were able to socialise and compete against students from Aquinas College, Henshaws College, Arden College, Heaton School, Grange School, Bridge College, The Cheadle & Marple College Network, Beaumont College, Keystones Centre and Fairfield Residential in a range of accessible sports events. The event was held at the Etihad Stadium Manchester, and supported by staff from participating organisations, corporate volunteers and Mencap's Young Ambassadors.

Events included boccia, a number of races and inclusive football coaching with coaches provided by Manchester City. A grand total of 151 young people competed on the day, challenging one another to focus on the events, develop and demonstrate their physical skills (ranging from the precision demonstrated by our boccia champions to the mobility for students choosing to use standing frames or walking frames to navigate the track) and to push one another to succeed. 

The importance of inclusive sport for young people with complex needs is one of the cornerstones of our approach at Seashell, and our previous blog post on the topic goes into more detail specifically for those students following the Autism Support Course. The benefits of participating in sport are obvious: young people learn about their own bodies, stay healthy, have opportunities to develop their personal care and share experiences with other young people in ways which can support the development of functional communication. But competition, too, is an important element: many sports allow athletes to compete against themselves, such as working to beat a new personal best, while racing to beat another athlete provides an immediate motivation against which young people can measure their success. Gaining a sense of competitive games and their rules enables students to work towards goals, to demonstrate their perseverance and commitment to reaching those goals, and to strive to perform as well as they can. Working with students from other colleges allowed Seashell students to meet other young people and share their experiences of the day with one another, cooperating with their teammates and cheering one another on, and we would like to thank the staff and volunteers who made this possible.

All the athletes demonstrated the commitment, drive and sportsmanship we want to see, and made us proud of all their achievements, so our final thank you is to all the athletes competing on Thursday. Great job, guys!