Former SSP Young Leader secures cash grant for inclusive sport

A former RDSSP Young Leader is celebrating after securing £300 in funding to bring disability inclusive sport to a young people’s group in the village.

Todd Cloake applied to 02’s Think Big campaign earlier this year for funding to set up a Boccia and wheelchair basketball programme for the Hartington Young People’s Activity Club (HYPAC).

The 23 year old, who is in remission from cancer, found out on Thursday 26th March that he’d been successful.

The Hartington resident was inspired to apply for the cash grant after local youngster, Maddie Wager joined HYPAC. The 9 year old has Cerebral Palsy and is a full-time wheelchair user.

He said: “I was over the moon to find out I’d been successful in my application, it’s always nice to be told ‘yes.’ I think local youngsters will love the new sporting activities; I feel that it is often the new sports they enjoy more because everyone is starting at the same level.”

“The funding means the children will be able to discover what it’s like to be in a wheelchair and see what life is like on a daily basis for Maddie. The primary aim for this project in my eyes has always been to provide sporting opportunities to a community that can sometimes struggle to get them. Hopefully it can inspire the next round of coaches to keep this sort of thing going!”

Todd, who went on to study at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Ashbourne, is currently taking a break from his degree studies in Coaching and Sports Development at Lincoln University whilst he recovers from his spate of ill health.

When he was at QEGS, Todd took part in the RDSSP Young Sports Leader programme, gaining a Sports Leaders UK qualification. The football fan now holds a Level Three Higher Sports Leaders qualification and is a Level One Wheelchair and Handball coach.

RDSSP Manager, Janice Price said: “It’s wonderful news that Todd has been successful in his funding bid and I am delighted for him. It’s great to know a former SSP Young Leader is being so proactive to bring inclusive sport to a rural Derbyshire village and is helping young children understand the importance of team-building, leadership, inclusivity and friendship.”

Vice Chairman of Hartington C of E Primary School Governors, Liz Broomhead MBE, who runs the HYPAC group said: “We are absolutely delighted that Todd has managed to secure the funding. It will make such a difference to the experiences and opportunities of the young people in HYPAC. We are one step closer to ensuring that we are really inclusive by enhancing understanding, teamwork and empathy.”

He’s set to meet with members of the local wheelchair basketball team, Derby Wheelblazers, to see if they can get involved with the project. Todd has also enlisted the help of Special Olympics Boccia champion and fellow QEGS pupil, Beth Foster from Ashbourne and Derbyshire Dales District Council.

Sport and Health Development Officer at the District Council, Becky Bryan said: “This is a fantastic project which we are very keen to support. It’s great to see inclusive sports being developed in rural villages for the local children to try and to gain a better understanding. We will be offering support within our Leisure Centre facility and providing sports equipment to help make this inclusive project a success.”

Todd is now working to finalise his session plans for the new sports project. He is set to attend a special event hosted by 02 to receive the grant and will also be writing a blog about his experiences.

ENDS

• For more information on HYPAC email Liz Broomhead MBE on liz@broomhead.net
• 02 Think Big Fund website: www.o2thinkbig.co.uk
• Hartington C of E Primary School website: www.hartington.derbyshire.sch.uk
• Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School website: www.queenelizabeths.derbyshire.sch.uk

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