As part of the Every Player Counts programme, Southend United run special PE sessions that allow all children to benefit from taking an active part in sport.
Funded by the Wembley National Stadium Trust, the sessions are are tailored to meet specific needs of the participants. One pupil whose benefited from United session is Emily
Emily has always struggled with her physical ability. She attend PE sessions with the rest of her class mates, however she not the most active pupil. She often sat out or refused to play at lunch as she would prefer to read or draw. Emily has learning difficulties and cerebral palsy which means she struggles with communication and struggles to lift and hold objects. The coaches noticed that Emily wouldn’t get involved with her class mates. She would often get distracted easily and walk around the sports hall and read off the posters on the wall. Emily would prefer to watch the session instead of taking part.
The coaches therefore started delivering in smaller groups to help those, like Emily, who are shy and lack confidence to be part of the session. This worked well with Emily and we noticed a huge change in her confidence after week four, this is when Emily started to join in. We found out that by promoting prizes that linked to her hobbies encouraged her to join in and socialise with the new students and staff.
Within the last session Emily joined in for the whole session. Jason who is head of PE at Emily’s school said
“We spoke to Emily’s parents and they couldn’t believe the change in Emily, they said that her energy and enthusiasm to be more active is amazing!”