Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge … Dodgeball for city kids with learning difficulties

16 Nov 2011 12:10:45.240

PA 355/11

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.

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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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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia. Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. For more details, visit:  

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:

Story credits

More information is available from Hannah Webber, Disability Sport Officer, The University of Nottingham at
Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

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