Sensory sport sensations supports children and young people, clubs and schools

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Shelly ()

This week we caught up with Bristol Bears Community Foundation to hear about two of their programmes which are getting people with disabilities active.


Bristol Bears Community Foundation is a not for profit award-winning charity, delivering programmes proven to change the lives of people across the region. The registered charity works with over 10,000 people from the local community each year. Current programmes involved supporting children and young people, clubs and schools. 


After discovering there was a real lack of specialist sport input into schools, Bristol Bears Community Foundation carried out a needs analysis and launched an innovative programme introducing sport to young people with severe sensory impairments and multiple learning difficulties. Using sound, touch, sight and action, the Sensory Sport Sensations programme introduces basic concepts of rugby, basketball and football to two groups of children at New Fosseway special school in Bristol.  

The programme is being piloted at a handful of special schools in Bristol and aims to engage a wider range of participants across the city in meaningful rugby participation, development and competition. Going into schools with special needs and delivering the programme has really helped to support teachers who have seen a real benefit from the young children that have taken part. 

The programme requires three special sports packs (rugby, football and basketball) costing close to £500 each, with the end goal to make sure every special and disability school in Bristol has a pack of their own. All packs also incorporate physical interaction from support staff and musical tracks.

The packs include;

  • Rugby – rugby balls, ribbon rings, TheraBand
  • Football – footballs, hand clappers
  • Basketball – foam LED tunes, plastic hoops and attached nets, boom sticks.

The Sensory Sport Sensations programme is part of their Spectrum project delivered across Bristol and South Gloucestershire in partnership with Premiership Rugby and Comic Relief. Working with special schools and specialist centres across the Greater Bristol area, Spectrum works with over 250 young people and adults per week with special educational needs and disabilities, delivering schools PE, outreach and CPD sessions. 

To find out more information about the programme, please click here

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