Sports students support Grampian Parasport Festival

September 22, 2021

Students from year 1 of NESCol’s HND Coaching and Developing Sport course recently supported the Grampain Parrasport Festival at Aberdeen Sports Village. Organised by Scottish Disability Sport, the festival provided opportunities for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire school children with sensory or physical disabilities to participate in a variety of sports including kayak, table tennis, boccia, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and swimming.

The students were invited to attend by partners at Scottish Disability Sport to help support the children and assist expert coaches from national governing bodies of sport including Scottish Volleyball, Table Tennis Scotland and Scottish Canoe Association, as well as local clubs Grampian Flyers, ASV Table Tennis and Aberdeen Amateur Athletics Club.

The day gave the students an introduction to inclusive sport and how to adapt their own coaching sessions to make them more inclusive. Students learned how important it is to support those who need it, the importance of praise and encouragement, and shifting the focus from winning back to enjoyment and fun.

Zoe Lewis, NESCol External Enagement Coordinator and Instructor/Assessor for Sport, said: “The students were thrown into the deep end with an inclusive festival so early in the academic year, but they performed brilliantly. The way they interacted with the children, offered support and really got involved to help develop the skills and make sure everyone was included and had a good time was fantastic to watch. Lots of happy faces on the children, but also the students. They did themselves and NESCol proud today.”

A sentiment supported by Alison Shaw from Scottish Disability Sport, who said: “The NESCol students have been amazing today, they have all thrown themselves into the festival and gotten to know the kids. For only being a few weeks into their course it has been great to see them get so involved. A huge thank you to all the students and staff from NESCol for helping make this event such a success.”