Talent spotting Paralympians of the future

The University Walsall Campus will play host to the Black Country SMILE 2013 event on Friday, 24 May 2013.

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

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 and closely with Wolverhampton PASS (Partnership and School Sport), the University’s School for Education Futures is sponsoring the event and providing staff, equipment and facilities.

Senior Lecturer and Pathway Leader for Secondary PE & SEND ITT at the University, Dot Heslop said: “We’re really looking forward to hosting the SMILE event for the second year running and further developing the opportunity to identify talented sportspeople and potential future Paralympians. This year swimming has been added to the range of activities together with a range of aquatic activities.

“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 three different opening ceremonies based in the three University of Wolverhampton Sports Arenas and conclude with ITT Trainees and Sports Leaders delivering a short evaluation and presentation to each of the activity groups to mark the end of the event.

Around 60 sports leaders from Brownhills School sixth form and other sports leaders with special needs from Black Country Partnership Schools’ will deliver the events, supported by the University’s specialist PE ITT trainee teachers.

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


For more information please contact Dawn Beddard in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

Date Issued: Friday 17 May 2013

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