‘No boundaries, no borders’

Inclusive football and ‘hoopz’ matches part of action-packed year

Thursday, 10th March — By Steve Barnett

Camden Disabled FC and Southwark Stars FC

There was a flurry of goals as Camden Disabled FC’s women’s and mixed-ability teams played against Southwark Stars FC

SPORTS coaches are lining up an action-packed spring and summer programme in a bid to give young disabled people from across north London the opportunity to be even more active in 2022.

And the big matchdays are already well underway after football and basketball teams gathered at the Talacre Community Sports Centre in Kentish Town to take part in two taster tournaments.

Aimed at 16-year-olds and over, there were plenty of hoop-happy youngsters when Safe Haven Basketball Club from Special Olympics Camden took on East Hertfordshire Chiefs from Special Olympics Hertfordshire last month.

The “Hoopz Inclusive” tournament was organised by Safe Haven Basketball, which runs regular sessions across the capital, including at the Handyside Sports Pitch in Canal Reach, King’s Cross, and the Little Venice Sports Centre in Crompton Street, Westminster.

Camden Council Sport and Physical Activity Service and Access Sports also chipped in to help make the day happen, with players enjoying ­competitive matches that resulted in East Hertfordshire Chiefs being crowned champions.

There were medals for all and, even better, a chance for some of the basketballers to showcase their skills on one of the biggest platforms of all.

The Safe Haven basketball team that took on East Hertfordshire Chiefs

Emma Colverd, from Safe Haven Basketball, explained: “The event catered for players of all abilities and we are now looking forward to attending regional and national Special Olympics competitions where we will hopefully see some of our players get selected for the Special Olympics GB squad that will be taking part in the World Games next year in Berlin.”

Another joint venture – this time between Camden Council’s Sports Development Team and the North London Special League – also produced a skilful showcase for 16-year-olds and over on Saturday, February 12.

There was “a flurry of goals” as players representing Camden Disabled FC’s women’s and mixed-ability teams took on Southwark Stars FC.

“It was a really great day and it was so good to see so many players taking part and having so much fun,” said Tom Coughlan, from the North London Special League. “This was the first time since pre-Covid that we have managed to get a women’s team together and they all can’t wait for the return fixture this month.”

There are football and basketball sessions being held every week, with more tournaments planned in the near future. With the help and support of the Highgate Harriers, there is also an athletics open day being planned this summer for children and young people of all ages and abilities.

Urging those from across north London to get involved, Ben Dorsett, who works for Camden Council’s Sport and Physical Activity Service, said: “When it comes to getting young people involved in sport, there are no boundaries or borders.

“In Camden, and our neighbouring boroughs like Islington and Westminster, there are weekly sessions for everyone, with plenty of opportunities to get involved.

“So, get in touch, and we’ll make sure anyone interested in being more active in 2022 is put in touch with their local clubs and organisations that can help and support them enjoy more sports.”

• For more information email ben.dorsett@camden.gov.uk

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