Children’s hospital summer sports scheme celebrates 20 years
- Credit: Norfolk and Norwich NHS Foundation Trust
A summer sports scheme at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) which provides support for children with physical disabilities is celebrating its 20th birthday.
The Jenny Lind Physiotherapy Summer Sports Scheme launched in 1998 when Sue Coombe, retired neuro-disability clinical physiotherapy specialist, and June Fisher, paediatric physiotherapist, wanted to create an opportunity for children with physical disabilities to take part in sports previously inaccessible to them.
For the last 20 years, children have been invited to take part in the scheme if they attend a mainstream school, are under the care of NNUH Jenny Lind physiotherapy team and are between seven and 16 years old.
The scheme has been running the first and third week of the summer holidays and is staffed by NNUH paediatric physiotherapists and volunteers. This year's scheme has been organised by physiotherapist Jemma Sudlow, and to celebrate its 20th birthday the group enjoyed a trampolining session.
The sports sessions are run in a variety of settings, including the UEA Sportspark, Easton College, The Horstead Centre, Great Melton Cricket Ground and Neatishead Sailing Club, with activities including sailing, rock climbing, zip wiring, low ropes, canoeing, tennis, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, cricket and dance.
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Annie Rangecroft, paediatric clinical physiotherapy specialist who took over from Sue Coombe, said: 'The aim is to introduce children to a range of adapted sports, in a supported setting, when perhaps they will discover a hobby or sport they enjoy, and feel confident enough to join in on a more regular basis. It also provides a unique opportunity for children who have similar disabilities to meet up and make new friends.
'We have had great feedback from the children and their families who have thanked us for hosting the scheme as they have made friends for life through it.'
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The Summer Sports Scheme is supported by a local charity Supersports Kidz Club.
Frances Bolger, chief of division for women's and children's Services at NNUH said: 'We're delighted to be celebrating 20 years of the Jenny Lind Physiotherapy Summer Sports Scheme. The scheme demonstrates our commitment to support our younger patients and I'd like to thank all those involved in making the scheme such a success for the past 20 years.'