On 12th February 2020, The University of Plymouth Tennis Club sent a group of their members to help run a tennis session as a guest sport with The Special Olympics Plymouth & District, an organisation who dedicate there time to enhance the lives of those with Intellectual (Learning) disabilities through the use of sport.
Unfortunately, tennis is not a sport that they can regularly run, and therefore their 1st session was just the start of building a relationship with SOPD to get tennis on their regular schedule of sports.
Who are The Special Olympics Plymouth & District?
Special Olympics Plymouth & District (SOPD) is a Branch of Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB) and provides sports opportunities. The Club was founded in 2010 after Special Olympic Indoor Bowls Athlete David Stockdale had difficulty in obtaining a place to compete in the Leicester 2009 National Games; this was due to there being no Special Olympics Club in Plymouth or Devon. Once his place was secured he was accompanied by his parents Alan and Maureen and competed in the games and they returned home determined that people with an Intellectual (Learning) Disability living in Plymouth and the surrounding area would have the opportunity of participating in Sport and train towards being able to enter Competition.
" This was such a rewarding experience for myself and the other members of the club who helped run the session. Watching the smiles and enjoyment of all those who took part in the session was the best thing to see. To be told we were one of the only sessions to run for the whole time slot and not be cut short as those partaking want to play football was fantastic to hear. It was from this, that a discussion with those in charge led to the possibility of further sessions!!!"
Levi Dawson, Chairman
People with an intellectual (Learning) disability are often excluded and isolated from society, and sport is a powerful way to ensure this changes. SOPD rely on individuals, just like UPTC members, giving up their time to volunteer and help run the sessions every Wednesday 6-7.30 pm to help provide the activities for those involved.
All information with regards to this amazing organisation can be found here
A big thank you to the following people who helped share UPTC's community spirit through volunteering to help run this session:
- Holley Storey
- Janki Shah
- Lauren Buckler
- Levi Dawson
- Tom Yates
Find out more about the Plymouth University Tennis Club on their club page here and through social media. Facebook // Instagram