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Let’s get active: Howes Primary School

Twelve deaf young people from Howes Primary School in Coventry, successfully applied for funding to develop their ‘Let’s Get Active’ project. They filled out an application form, and this was their brilliant idea:

We all really like sport and we take part in lots of sport tournaments and events at school. However, we don’t go to any sports clubs in the community or any leisure centres because we don’t know if they are deaf accessible.  We would like to find out which clubs and leisure centres are deaf accessible.

We would like to do this by visiting different clubs and centres. We will interview the managers and we will try out the facilities. This will help us to understand if they are deaf accessible and also accessible to children with other disabilities (because we have other disabilities as well as deafness).

We are going to film our interviews and experiences so that we can share the information with other deaf children and children with disabilities. We hope that this will encourage more deaf children to become more active and to join more sports clubs.

In our planning meeting we decided that we would like to find out about swimming facilities, tennis clubs, climbing facilities, football clubs, rugby clubs, running clubs, dance clubs and martial arts clubs.

We would like to do this project as part of our English lessons because it will help us to plan and carry out interviews and it will help our communication skills.

We have started to speak to people involved in sport in the community including Coventry City Council and Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sport Partnership.

After our board reviewed and approved their application, funding was provided for them to visit their local leisure and sport centres.

The young people kicked off their project by attending their local Everyone Active centre (who have over 150 centres nationwide). They tried the different activities provided by the centre, then interviewed the Active Community Manager about the facilities, staff and accessibility for deaf young people. They also discussed the challenges they had faced as they took part in the activities.

Following on from this, they received an exciting email from Everyone Active:

Thank you for bringing your students along earlier, I hope that they thoroughly enjoyed it! … It has opened our eyes up to some additional training that may be useful to staff here. You briefly mentioned this last week when we met, if you are able to help with this and supply some further information that would be great.

After meeting last week Gary brought forward the Beacon issue that we thought we had at site, he found out today that the light bacon’s are incorporated within the smoke alarms so we have no problem with this now. I will chase up Entre-prise who installed and offered training for Clip ‘N Climb with regards to a subtitled/sign briefing video.

If you need anything from us please let me know and if you are able to share any of the photos or videos that would be great!

Thanks for putting Newbold forward for this project.

This was a hugely successful meeting between the centre and the pupils, which has obviously given them some positive actions and things to consider to ensure their facilities are accessible for deaf young people.

The group then visited the facilities at Go Ape and AT7 Centre. Again, they met with staff and centre managers, and provided tips on how they could best support deaf young people taking part in the activities and making them aware of any access issues they had identified.

During their visits, 4 videos were created by the group which they plan to share with other deaf young people to encourage them to be more active and let them know about the accessibility in their local leisure centres. You can watch their videos here.

The videos were also launched at the Coventry Guild Hall by the Mayor of Coventry, with representatives from NDCS as well as the activity centres involved.

Excitingly, as a result this project, our Deputy Director of Young People and Partnerships Mark Bolton, will now meet with managers from these centres to explore further training and support. This includes employer training of deaf awareness, as well as creating opportunities for deaf young volunteers and work experience.