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Cumbrian Satellite Sports Clubs winners at National Sport England Satellite Club Awards

October 12, 2016

Two sports satellite clubs based in Cumbria have achieved Sport England, National Satellite Club of the Year awards.

Kendal Youth Disability Club has been crowned ‘Satellite Club of the Year’ whilst Danny Ewin from Cumbria Wheelchair Sports Club is ‘Participant of the Year’.

Danny Ewin, Ray McBride and Caroline Smith attended the prestigious awards  held at Westminster Palace on the 12th October.

Satellite clubs are extensions of community sports clubs, who deliver their sport into secondary schools or colleges to offer a range of sports to young people who may not be regularly active, or lack the confidence to join a sports club. 

Using National Lottery funding, 9,348 satellite clubs have been established across England, helping to get 430,286 young people into sport since 2012. In Cumbria there are currently 95 established satellite clubs with a further 5 planned to start in 2017. Every College and secondary school in Cumbria now hosts at least one satellite club, engaging more than 1900 young people in sport across the County.

Kendal Youth Disability Club is a satellite club in South Lakeland, offering Boccia and Swimming to pupils from Sandgate, Sandside Lodge and George Hastwell special schools. The club has a strong partnership arrangement with Kendal Leisure Centre, helping break down barriers to participation by providing an inclusive welcoming environment for the young people and their families, encouraging use of the facilities outside of club hours.

The young people attending help shape the design and delivery of sessions which includes a social element with lunch and fun, friendly inter-school matches.

Friends and Family are encouraged to be involved to ensure that the young people are comfortable and that the activity is social and rewarding. Previously there was limited opportunity for young people with disabilities to participate in sports in South Lakeland.

Danny Ewin attended the Cumbria Wheelchair Sports satellite club at Mayfield School, Whitehaven after breaking his back which left him disabled from the waist down. Danny had mastered using his wheelchair, but suffering from low self-esteem he was inactive and unfit. Danny heard about the club via a friend and he has never looked back. Initially Danny struggled joining in with the Wheelchair Basketball sessions at Whitehaven Leisure Centre. Danny said “I felt totally out of depth but the welcoming approach of the club and patience of the players meant I stuck at it”

After a few weeks it became apparent he had a talent for the game and went on to play for the first team who recently won the league 1 title.

Danny was then offered to train as a coach, with the help of Active Cumbria coaching bursary Danny trained as a level 2 Wheelchair Basketball coach and now works alongside the lead coach in supporting delivery of the network of satellite clubs across the County. In less than 2 years Danny has gone from being inactive and unfit to playing in a league 1 division and becoming a County-Wide club coach. His enthusiasm for Wheelchair Basketball has helped encourage existing satellite club members to stick with the satellite club and he has attracted new people to the sport by selling the value of Wheelchair Basketball to his friends and the use of social media.

Photo Credit: Westmorland Herald