“Sport means he is learning without him realising it”

Lockdown has been challenging for Bodhi, aged 9 and his mum Caren. However Bodhi, who has global developmental delay and autism, has been managing the lockdown by taking part in Brentford FC Community Trust’s online Short Breaks activities for children with disabilities.

His mum Caren believes that physical activity for Bodhi is now needed more than ever. She said:

“Bodhi has not had occupational therapy for over a year and this is not the first time we have had such big break sadly. Doing sport activities, which incorporate both gross and fine motor skills, is hugely beneficial. Because of his age, he now wants to do ‘regular’ activities, so sports can mean he is learning without him realising it!”

Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s Short Breaks project, commissioned by Hounslow Council, supports children with a disability with their confidence and development through a range of free sporting activities. Over the past year, the project has engaged with more than 150 children in Hounslow.

Under normal circumstances, these sessions are delivered on a weekly basis in Osterley and during the school holidays.

Yet the government lockdown has meant that Brentford FC Community Sports Trust have had to be creative in how they deliver physical activity for children while at home.

Chris Tribe, The Trust’s Disability Manager, said:

“We’ve had to find new and innovative ways to engage with our participants and encourage them to stay active at home. Since the lockdown began, we created and sent out weekly sports challenge videos for families to try at home, which have proved to be really popular.

Caren adds: “Although we home educate, and have lots of resources, we still found it a bit difficult to establish a routine and ensure a balance between education and fun. It is also difficult for us parents to constantly look after the house and kids – I honestly don’t sit down!”