Project Ability Festival - Haslemere Flyerz

Haslemere Flyerz were invited by Surrey School Games presented by Active Surrey on Thursday 27th November to develop and lead the hockey sessions as part of the Project Ability Festival for SEN young people. The Flyerz had taken part in this wonderful event last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a fantastic opportunity to be asked back to organise this again.

The Project Ability Festival is an all inclusive competition where girls and boys from years 7-9 with physical and intellectual impairments from special and mainstream schools will compete in two different sports Hockey and Cricket. This year there were 10 teams, with a total of 70 children taking part throughout the day. The day was split into two sessions, Session A in the morning and Session B in the afternoon. The sessions targeted the key skills needed for hockey such as dribbling, passing and game play. We incorporated relay races into the drills to ensure the young people had the competitive element and motivation. Using the skills they had developed throughout these drills they then progressed to play in mini matches, where they were able to work as a team to not only ensure a victory but to support and encourage each other.

The Haslemere Flyerz Coaching team consisted of Jess Edwards, Hannah Cross, Tony Richards, Eryl Chant and Charley McCumisky. They were joined by 10 enthusiastic Young Sports Leaders from Rodborough School who helped each coach to keep score and boost team morale by encouraging the young people taking part.

The young people really enjoyed the competitive aspect of the day and the opportunity to win a medal or certificate added to their enjoyment, each team wanted to win. Throughout the day the young people’s skills developed as well as their team spirit. Many of them were breaking into chants whilst cheering for their team mates. Once the mini match tournament started the atmosphere exploded into a frenzy of cheering, shouting and banging the sticks on the floor- Amazing!! Each team played 4 matches for a duration of 4 minutes each, all of the young people did remarkably well and never stopped trying to score clearly boosted by the competitive surroundings.

By the end of our sessions the young people were exhausted but happy and many of them came away wanting to continue to play hockey.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Steve Brown - GB Wheelchair Rugby Captain, a truly inspiring Athlete- please see picture below