Two Young Leaders from South Wirral High School are taking part in the Come In project run by ENGSO Youth

1st February 2019

Two Young Leaders from South Wirral High School going to Newquay from 2nd-5th Feb to take part in the Come In project run by ENGSO Youth (see info sheet attached for reference).  ENGSO Youth are running a series of workshops & training (the first being hosted here in GB) with 24 participants from Italy, France and UK. Following the workshops the participants are encouraged to apply what they learned at local level via a pilot programme of inclusive sport.

We are 1 of 2 SOEE programmes to be involved in this (SO Italy).  The project is hosting all delegates down in Cornwall with the next phase of the project to take place in Rome in May where they will evaluate and finalise a supporting toolkit with the guideline to organise and run an inclusive sports programmes and sessions in their local realities. End of October 2019 we will have a final event to present the results..  They have also engaged SO Cornwall to get some of their athletes involved in some of the practical sessions/training workshops.

The bios for the Unified pair & their teacher are below …

Olivia Ellison-Burkhill, year 13

Olivia is one of the founding members of the Unified Sports Club at South Wirral and has been a fantastic ambassador for the past 15 months. Olivia has delivered the Play Unified message to school students across Wirral and Merseyside, executive members of the Gaelic Athletic Association, at the European Congress of Adapted Physical Activity and at the WWE Be a Star Rally. Olivia is passionate about Play Unified and delivering inclusive sport in our school, where she also coaches girls rugby. As Olivia embarks on her journey towards University study, she is keen to continue to make an impact with introducing Play Unified initiatives and creating lasting legacies.

Joel Johnson, year 10

Joel has always struggled to participate in sport due to having autism and feeling very self-conscious in a mainstream school setting. Since joining the Unified Sports Club as a participant last year, his confidence blossomed to the point where he was excited to become a Play Unified Sports Leader and help to encourage other students. Joel recognises that Unified Sport is a fantastic way to overcome the challenges he faces with his autism and he delivered an inspirational speech at the WWE Be a Star rally.

David Bell, teacher of PE

Having taught PE for 13 years, Play Unified is a breath of fresh air and an educational initiative that is long overdue. Empowering students to develop their mental, physical and social health and wellbeing through a programme that inspires and educates is the most purposeful reason for school sport to exist. South Wirral High School has always championed inclusive sport and we have had many students with physical and/or intellectual disabilities enjoy success in sports teams, curriculum lessons and sports qualifications such as GCSEs, A Levels and Sports Leadership. We have a strong culture of Inter-House sport and dance, where all students are participating in physical activity with an emphasis on inclusion in a competitive, yet friendly environment. Creating a Unified Sports Club has been a great addition to this inclusive culture and it is fantastic to watch so many of our students enjoying sports activities that are led by our Sports Leaders. As a school with a Sixth Form, we regularly have International students from Europe and Australia - these students have been encouraged to become Sports Leaders and there has been a great response from Italian students in particular, in the last 2 academic years. Our Sports Leaders really do embrace the Play Unified ethos and are inspirational for our younger students.

We are really grateful and excited to be invited to project Come In and look forward to learning new ways to develop the programmes of inclusive sport that we have on offer in our school, especially as we will be linking with local agencies within our community to deliver Play Unified initiatives to a more widespread audience. 

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