The Thomas Pocklington Trust and Sutton Vision were quick to praise Sutton Sports Village staff and volunteers for their efforts during their first collaborative sports festival for visually impaired people.
Alex Pepper, Project Co-Ordinator, had huge praise to pass on to the centre and staff, “I just wanted to say on behalf of Jacqui and I (from the Thomas Pocklington Trust), a huge thank you to all Sutton Sports Village staff for your great work and support during the VI sports festival. All of your staff were absolutely fantastic both generally and in regards to supporting a visually impaired group.
Even staff that hadn’t been able to attend the sight guide training had clearly been shown how to sight guide and orientate people by their colleagues. It was commented on by both spectators and participants how great you all were, so a big pat on the back is in order.”
In partnership with sight loss charities, the centre opened its doors to around 20 people with varying degrees of visual impairment, some with guides and friends or family, to deliver an exciting day of tennis, football, dance and fitness.
Many commented that they were surprised by how much they enjoyed the dance sessions where dance company Illuminate Freedom, currently funded by BETTER, got everyone dancing in their own space, uninhibited and moving to some funky music!
Fitness sessions challenged endurance levels with simple circuits whilst tennis sessions promoted fun team building and concentration using specially designed equipment. Balls with bells inside were used to help direct those unable to see and those without sight loss were blindfolded to make the games fair for everyone. Sutton Football Academy worked together with the Crystal Palace Foundation, who provided the equipment, to deliver engaging and enjoyable football sessions.
A hugely important aspect of the day was the opportunity for everyone to socialise and participants were treated to a tasty buffet lunch between activities. It wasn't just the attendees who had a great time - SSV staff and volunteers, who had received some basic sight guide training before the festival, were completely inspired and encouraged by the day’s events. With new skills developed and new relationships made everyone hopes this was the first of many more to come.
For more information on our Inclusive Timetable click here. Alternativly, pop into the centre to try out a session or call 020 8641 6611.