Following the success of the city’s first dodgeball festival for children with learning difficulties in 2010, students at The University of Nottingham are set to hold the event again this year.
Arranged by the Students’ Union’s Dodgeball Society, the festival will take place at Harvey Hadden Leisure Centre from 12.30-2.30pm on Wednesday 23 November.
The event is open to schools across Nottingham in an attempt to make the sport more inclusive for children with learning difficulties, while helping society members to enhance their coaching skills.
Children will take part in a number of skill sessions, designed to introduce them to the basics of the game. This will be followed by a competitive tournament, giving participants the chance to put what they’ve learnt into practice.
Society president Kyle Wedgwood, who is currently studying for a PhD in Mathematical Neuroscience, was delighted to have attracted eight schools to the first festival and is hoping more will get involved this year.
Kyle believes that the main strength of the sport is its ease to pick up and the opportunity for anybody to get involved, whether they want to play competitively or socially.
Ahead of the festival, he explained: “We hope that the pupils will come away with a better knowledge of the game and the team aspects involved in it. We also hope that they will go on to continue playing dodgeball in their respective schools.
“The festival gives our members the chance to coach, developing not only the children’s skills, but also their own, while working with a particular group of children that they may not otherwise be involved with. Above all the festival is great fun and allows us to take something we love and get other people playing and loving it too.”
While this year will be the second annual dodgeball festival, Kyle and the society have been coaching school children for the last four years. Last year he decided to try and get more pupils involved after discussions with local school teachers and the University’s Disabled Sports Officer, Hannah Webber.
Hannah explained: “This dodgeball festival will provide local school children with the opportunity to learn a new sport in a fun and friendly environment, supported by expert coaches and volunteers.
“Kyle and the University Dodgeball Society have formed good links with local sports providers and done a great job in raising awareness of this niche sport. They have also done a lot of hard work in adapting dodgeball so that it can be played by children with learning difficulties — opening the sport up to a wider audience. I’m really proud and feel privileged to have been able to be a part of this fantastic initiative.”
More information and contact details for the Athletic Union’s Dodgeball Society can be found on the Students’ Union website.
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