Residential Disability Sports Camp
A story by Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club
Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club (DDSC) organised a three nights residential disability sports camp at the Scottish National Sports Training centre, Largs for families affected by disability from West and East Dunbartonshire area.
What Residential Disability Sports Camp did
The Residential Sports Camp was delivered on Friday 27th – Monday 30th July 2018 at Scottish National Sport Training Centre, Largs. The camp was a great success for the 25 families affected by disability from Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club (DDSC). The camp was open to all families from DDSC with the priority given to families who were unable to attend the DDSC Residential Sports Camp 2017. The funding from the Short Breaks Fund enabled the DDSC to designed and deliver two separate programmes, one for parents/carers and one for the children.
The parent's programme provided 20 hours of activity such as massage, parents v children football match, Saturday night disco, 2 spin classes, orienteering, ballroom dancing, quiz show, family dance session & a family walk. The children’s programme provided 20.5 hours of activity such as football tournament, olympic games, arts and crafts, dance, family dance, talent show, parents v children football game, family walk, Boccia tournament, Saturday night disco (organised by the young members of the club), quiz & free time to play with your friends.
To organise the camp the club needed to recruit extra staff from West Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust and Independence to run safe and enjoyable sports, dance and arts and craft sessions. Our main success was the fact that three families outwith the DDSC took part on the camp and have now joined the club participating in the weekly physical activity sessions organised for the community.
What Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club has learned
As a result of the camp we have managed to identify a need for carers weekly spin class and massage session which would be delivered during the DDSC Multi Sports sessions (sessions for our members on Saturday mornings 10:00 – 12:00). This has resulted for the club to organise a DDSC Parent Fit pilot project to investigate the level of need for these sessions.
How Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club has benefitted from the funding
The benefits of the funding has being overwhelming. Our families cannot speak highly enough of the project. It has provided them an opportunity to create friendships with other families with similar issues. As a direct result of the 2017 & 2018 Sports Camps our carers have started to organise social nights among themselves to discuss their families and share experiences and ideas.
Children & young people with disability, siblings and parents will participate in a three nights fun and rewarding residential sports camp. The camp will deliver a number of sport/activity sessions for the participants.
The Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club provided its members a three nights residential sports camp with 20 hours of fun and rewarding activities such as dancing, football, family walks, Saturday night disco and orienteering. Forty eight children and young people with multiple support needs managed to attend all 20 hours of activity available for them.
The children and young people who took part in the residential sports camp often experience isolation and a lack of opportunities to participate in physical activity sessions. Please see the statement below from one of the families who took part on the camp and how the camp activities impacted their son. "Our family where fortunate to take part in the residential sports camp with the Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club in July this year. We had a fantastic time, my son is Autistic and nonverbal he also has Epilepsy and therefore is quite complex so to find a group that welcome him and support him through active sports has made a huge difference to him. "Our stay gave the full family the opportunity to see him grow and get involved in the many activities arranged by the group from sports activities to social outings, creative events through art & music, helping him improve his social skills (which is a huge challenge for him) also build friendships with his peer group. This was wonderful to be part of."
The project planned a three night fun residential sports/activity camp where 45 parents/carers can enjoy rewarding respite opportunities available for them ranging from Ballroom Dancing to Spin Classes and nature walks.
The camp questionaire demonstrated that 100% of the parents/carers managed to enjoy rewarding and relaxing respite activities during the residential sports camp. The 20 hours of respite activities where designed by the Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club staff in partnership with the parents/carers. The activities ranged from massage, ballroom dancing, spin classes, family walks and some me time while their children were participating in physical activity sessions organised by the club coaches.
As part of the application process the Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club held camp meetings with the parents/carers to design the residential sports camp. It became clear that there was need to design a specific respite programme for parents/carers. Please see a statement from one family who took part in the activities. "The Residential Sports Camp provided me and my husband as well as my other son a much needed respite. When my son, who suffers from Autism, was well cared for by the coaches gave my other son, my husband and I the opportunity to try new sports activities both individually or in my son’s case with both Mum and Dad which is quite a luxury for us as a family. My other son certainly enjoyed some quality time and threw himself into taking part in all the group activities plus built friendships within the group. Once the daily activities finished it was great to come together as a group and relax in the centre surroundings and accommodation."
55 children and young people with disabilities and their carers report feeling more relaxed and less stressed as a result of the sports camp.
The camp questionaire and the conversations during the camp demonstrated that all forty eight children and young people with additional support needs and their parents/carers were feeling more relaxed and less stressed as a result of the camp.
The feedback from families associated with Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club demonstrated that the lives of families affected by disability are often hectic with little time for relaxation. To demonstrate how the camp managed to achieve this outcome, please read the statement below from a parent. "The centre creates a secure space for the group allowing the children and the family to move safely and freely through the weekend. We as a family felt completely relaxed and loved spending time together, simple things like meal times where not an issue knowing everyone had the families best interest at heart and my son was given the space and time to cope with each situation and the environment around him."