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Opportunities for children with Disabilities in the HSBC Manx Youth Games 24 January 2007

The sixth HSBC Manx Youth Games was launched last week with training sessions commencing in 12 different sports around the Island. It will be the first year that children with a disability have an opportunity to take part in such a wonderful event.

Since his appointment little over a year ago, Dave Callaghan, the Disability Sports Development Officer, has been putting together a number of activities for those people who may have a learning, physical or sensory difficulty. Dave explained:

‘In an ideal world children with a disability would have been able to take part since the inception of the Games in 2002. Indeed we know that several children with a disability have been taking part for many years – which of course is fantastic. One of my primary aims since being appointed last year was to ensure that many more young people with a disability have opportunity to sample the HSBC Manx Youth Games, and to receive such a positive experience.’

Dave has been working closely with four sports, which for the 2007 event will have provision for children with disabilities. These will be Athletics, Swimming, Squash and Short Mat Bowls. Dave continued:

‘Careful consideration has gone into the requirements and needs of those children who we want to encourage to take part. Extra training and volunteers will be made available to assist these children, and to ensure that they have a fun and safe experience. However as has been happening previously there will be some children with a disability that can cope with one of the other eight sports that will feature in the Games.’

Training sessions for 8 – 14 year olds will be taking place all around the Island, ensuring that geographical access won’t prevent any children who are interested from taking part. Parents of children who have a learning, physical or sensory difficulty are asked to contact Dave Callaghan on 688559, or alternatively e-mail dave.callaghan@msr.dtl.gov.im for a training booklet and registration form.

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