Inspired by the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, some 300 people with learning disabilities competed at a sporting festival organised by a service provider recently.
Learning disability care provider Care Management Group (CMG) hosted its Athletics Day in Sutton, which brought together service users, their families and staff from CMG’s 120 services across the country.
Service users had the opportunity to participate in a host of sporting events, including the 100m and 200m sprints, high jump and long jump as well as things like a wheelchair obstacle race, netball, badminton and even Tai Chai and sumo wrestling.
Throughout the day, Jadey Yesilada, an Ambassador for Albion in the Community, presented competitors with their medals. Yesilada has cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user; she has been involved with Albion in the Community as a player, apprentice and an ambassador for 15 years.
CMG’s annual Athletics Day is part of the organisation’s commitment to providing the people it supports with every opportunity to pursue activities they enjoy and lead independent and fulfilling lives.
David Tamblyn, a service user at The Green in Sutton, said: “I am now seven times CMG national badminton champion, I got the gold.”
Darren Rose, also a service user at The Green, added: “This was my last CMG sports day for The Green and I got two medals, it was a great day.”
Tomas Cardillo Zallo said: “It was a super fun amazing day, I got three medals: gold in the long jump, silver in the high jump and bronze in the Javelin. I am so happy.”
Peter Kinsey, chief executive of CMG, said: “The Athletics Day is an important part in our programme of events which help empower the people we support and provide the opportunity to take part in the hobbies and activities they enjoy.
“With so many keen sports people at our services, this event is always one we look forward to and was extra special this Olympics year.
“The Athletics Day has inspired many people to take up new sports, and we’ll be doing everything we can to support them.”