In April 2017 UK Wallball were asked to take part in the ‘Time to Shine’ games at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Buckinghamshire. This fantastic event, which takes place annually at the home of the Paralympic Games, is now in it’s tenth successful year, so we were very honoured and privileged that UK Wallball were invited to be providers.
Aimed at inpiring young disabled people to take part in sport, ‘Time to Shine’ invites over one hundred 12-18 year olds from the Olympic Host Boroughs of Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest together with children from neighbouring Boroughs of Havering and Bexley to participate at the two day multi-sports event.
“The whole experience was humbling”, said coach Gareth Price. “Our role was to inspire the kids and help them to experience our sport, and I feel we achieved that, but in the end it was the kids who inspired us even more. Timeto Shine was an excellent showcase of how accessible wallball can be. In the face of so many different challenges, all the young athletes we met showed unparalleled enthusiasm and determination, and were rewarded with successfully learning the fundamentals of wallball and having a great time. It was a wonderful two days that I’ll never forget”.
With 10 sports to cover over the two days, each group of 10-15 children spent 5 hours a day rotating between activities as diverse as golf, tennis, volleyball, archery, basketball and of course wallball. Each wallball session began with a ball skills clinic, and the aim for the end of the hour was for each child to be able to play wallball: to hit a ball against a wall either individually or co-operatively with some degree of success.
As you can see from the videos below, the children succeeded admirably, and had a lot of fun in the process. Many of the kids were keen tostay involved in wallball, with common questions heard throughout both days being, “Is there a club so I can keep playing?” and “Can I be a coach?”. We’re now hoping in the near future to team up with our friends at Motivate East, identify potential coaches, and deliver Level 1 coaching qualifications to these inspiring youngsters. For more information on our coaching programme and how to get involved please click here. For more information on the great work being done by Motivate East click here