Sporting event to talent-spot Paralympians of the future

Young people with special educational needs and disability from the Black Country are getting set for a talent-spotting sports event at the University of Wolverhampton.

The Walsall Campus will play host to the Black Country SMILE 2012 event tomorrow (Thursday, 31 May 2012) from 10am – 2.30pm.

Around 200 young people from mainstream and special schools will take part in a range of activities including wheelchair basketball, football and goalball, tag rugby, judo, tennis, kwik and inter-cricket, athletics, cheerleading and seated volleyball.

The focus of the competitive events is to identify potential gifted and talented performers, with the aim of signposting them for selection for borough or city representation at county athlete assessment days and ultimately national talent camps.

Organised in partnership with Black Country Schools Sports Partnerships, the University’s School for Education Futures is sponsoring the event and providing staff, equipment and facilities.

Dot Heslop, Senior Lecturer and Pathway Leader for Secondary PE at the University, said: “We’re really looking forward to hosting the SMILE event, which is a great opportunity to identify talented sportspeople and potential future Paralympians.

“The partnership with Black Country Schools Sports has enabled University trainee teachers to get involved in promoting, planning and delivering the activities, using their expertise while further developing their skills in inclusive practice and success for all.”

All the participants have pre-selected three sports, which they will rotate around during the morning and afternoon sessions.

The event will kick off with an opening ceremony at 10am, and conclude with closing speeches focused on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games at 2.15pm.

Around 60 sports leaders from Black Country Partnership Schools’ PE departments will deliver the events, supported by the University’s specialist PE trainee teachers.

Teacher Trainees from other subject areas will add to the staffing, supporting the pupils throughout the day.

ENDS

For more information, please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

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