Our 3rd annual PowerHouseGames with VISA

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Bisham Abbey PowerHouseGames with VISA

We are delighted to share the success of our third annual PowerHouseGames with VISA, one of our Power2Inspire partners! The event took place on the 26th of June 2024 at the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre and brought together a community of local schools and other partner organisations.

The event was sponsored by VISA’s 2 ERGs Viable and Young Professionals – a special thanks to Jacquie Daley and Romi Trimmer for their support!

We welcomed one independent school, Bradfield College, and one special needs school, Brookfields School, to take part, as well as 22 VISA volunteers and 5 incredible sports stars, which was wonderful.

This year we were joined by:

Rosie Williams

One of Power2Inspire’s ambassadors and U12 All Round British Disability Champion. Rosie is a tremendous athlete and continues to show you succeed even if you or other people think that the odds are against you.

Ben Lawniczak

Ben is a deaf England rugby player, and has played both hooker and prop! He is known for his exceptional skills and leadership on the pitch and was brilliant with participants at the games.

Danny Sapsford

Danny is a former professional tennis player, has competed in major tournaments, including Wimbledon. With a successful career spanning over a decade, he now focuses on coaching and inspiring the next generation of tennis players.

Eric Fry

Eric is a USA rugby international and professional rugby player, represented his club and country in many competitions in England, France, and the USA. Eric’s dedication to teamwork and sportsmanship is evident in his extensive career and community involvement.

Imogen Longworth

Imogen is a wheelchair basketball player, has played for Worcester Wolves and England Under 18, winning a bronze medal at that level. She is still on the England wheelchair basketball pathway and loved the PowerHouseGames in Worcester so much that she wanted to be part of the VISA Games too! She came all the way from Carlisle – an extraordinary effort!

Everyone came together to play inclusive and adapted games including boccia, new age kurling, and walking football. The event was a vibrant celebration of sportsmanship and community spirit, leaving a lasting impact on all who participated.

The students encouraged each other to test their beliefs about ability and disability and what it is to be different, to learn to respect other people’s differences and understand how they can improve and grow.

Vicky Pye, Executive Assistant at Visa Europe, said

“No matter your disability you work as a team and understand each other’s strengths. It was a great day!”

Robert Healy, Visa volunteer also said,

“It was great to meet the junior athletes at the PowerHouseGames – they grew in stature and confidence throughout the various activities, and they really enjoyed themselves in the games.”

John Willis, Founder and Chief Ambassador of Power2Inspire said,

“I am thrilled VISA have partnered with us for a third time, and their representatives’ joy and enthusiasm for the games continues to shine brightly and promises an enduring partnership. The sports stars’ willingness to engage fully in these inclusive sports and to share their stories showcases Power2Inspire’s determination to ensure ‘No one is left on the bench’.”

We are hugely grateful to all the schools and volunteers who made this day so brilliant, as well as Bisham Abbey for hosting us so well. It’s such a brilliant event to look forward to in our calendar!

What are PowerHouseGames?

PowerHouseGames are incredible sports days using adapted games and sports, with activities designed to be accessible and fun for everyone, old and young, with disabilities and none, sporty and not. Participants are encouraged to test their beliefs about ability and disability and what it is to be different, to learn to respect other people’s differences, and Power2Inspire works with them to challenge their assumptions of what they can and cannot do.

Inspired? Then Get Involved!

Would your university sports team, or school love to be involved in a PowerHouseGames? Could your company support our mission by volunteering at one of our PowerHouseGames? If so, then we would love to hear from you. We are also always looking out for people willing to fundraise for Power2Inspire through their own inspiring means. Or, you could volunteer individually at one of our events, or you could give to the ongoing work of Power2Inspire. There are SO MANY WAYS we can all help to ensure “no on else is left on the bench!” Click the button here to find out more.

Bethany Haran

P2I Intern

With special thanks to Paul Sanwell of OP Photography for his fantastic photography on the day. All photos used with permission


Our 3rd annual PowerHouseGames with Leicester Tigers Foundation

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45th PowerHouseGames in collaboration with Leicester Tigers Foundation

On Wednesday, June 12th, we celebrated our 45th PowerHouseGames at the iconic Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium in partnership with Leicester Tigers and Leicester Tigers Foundation. It was an unforgettable day!

The opportunity to partake in inclusive sports games at such a prestigious venue was truly special. It created lasting memories for everyone as we commemorated the milestone of 45 PowerHouseGames for Power2Inspire!

12 teams of six each took to the pitch, each embodying the spirit of teamwork and sportsmanship. We welcomed Brooksby Melton College, who brought two groups – one of men and one of women. South Kilworth Primary School, Ellesmere College and FossMead Primary Academy each contributed a group of 12 students, adding to the lively atmosphere on the pitch! It was wonderful to see our corporate sponsors for the day, Samworth Brothers, add to the excitement by bringing a group of 13 to participate in the inclusive sports events. This truly demonstrated their wonderful support for sports inclusivity within the community!

Most notably, the presence of Leicester Tigers players Cameron Henderson and Amelia Tuck added a special touch to the day. Cameron, a member of the first-team men’s squad, and Amelia, a key player for the ladies’ team, actively participated, delighting the young students, many of whom support Leicester Tigers.
As always, our PowerHouseGames featured a diverse range of activities designed to be fun and inclusive. On the day goalball and sitting volleyball were particularly featured. It was great to see.

Leicester City in the Community led walking football sessions too! This certainly added a new inclusive activity to the table which added more excitement and challenge to the day. We also saw Leicestershire County Cricket Club lead Kwik cricket sessions, while Leicester Tigers supervised rugby obstacle activities. We had a blast navigating slalom cones, shooting a ball through a target, tackling bags, and even kicking a ball at a giant dartboard! These activities were all about having fun and testing our skills in an adaptable and engaging way.

The walking touch rugby was a big hit among the students, and it was a wonderful way to encourage everyone to work together! A particularly touching moment occurred during one of the touch rugby games. A student with special needs burst past an opponent and scored a try. The sheer joy on his face was matched by the cheers from his teammates and the crowd. It was a glorious moment, and, for me, it exemplified the true spirit of the PowerHouseGames.

Teachers observed remarkable growth in their students throughout the day. They noted that the students’ confidence increased as they interacted with others, developing vital social skills outside their usual school groups. It was clear that PowerHouseGames offered a unique and enriching environment for them to learn, interact, and grow. Particularly for many of the students from Ellesmere College, this was their first experience of such an event, and it was wonderful to hear teachers express their gratitude and enthusiasm at the end of the day. The consensus was clear: the event had been a tremendous success.

Karen Holdsworth, the lead representative from Samworth Brothers, shared her excitement about the event. She praised the initiative for

“being a brilliant example of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in action”

whilst expressing a strong desire to participate again in the future. We look forward to future work with Samworth Brothers!

It was fantastic to hear that the representatives from Leicester City Football Club found the event enlightening! Despite their prior experience with inclusive football, they particularly valued the diversity of ages, experiences, enthusiasm, and abilities at the PowerHouseGames. It was wonderful to learn that they had also developed new approaches to inclusivity.

At the end of the day, Leicester Tigers players Cameron Henderson and Amelia Tuck had the honor of handing out medals and certificates to the participants. Their presence and support added a special touch to the closing ceremony, creating cherished memories for all involved.

A big thank you goes to Sam Johnston and Melissa Powery, who were instrumental in hosting the event at the stadium. Their efforts were brilliant and are greatly appreciated.

It is also timely to extend our gratitude to Tim Cooper of Cooper’s Trophies for providing the medals for all our PowerHouseGames. His contribution always adds a special touch to the event, reminding everyone of the significance of their achievements. Karen from Samworth Brothers summed it up perfectly:

“Oh yes, I’m going to take my medal away. Everybody loves a medal.”

The 45th PowerHouseGames was a resounding success; a celebration of inclusivity, community, and our growth since our very first PowerHouseGames in 2018. Thank you to everyone who made this day possible, and we look forward to creating more unforgettable memories at Mattioli Woods Welford Road Stadium in the future!

What are PowerHouseGames?

PowerHouseGames are incredible sports days using adapted games and sports, with activities designed to be accessible and fun for everyone, old and young, with disabilities and none, sporty and not. Participants are encouraged to test their beliefs about ability and disability and what it is to be different, to learn to respect other people’s differences, and Power2Inspire works with them to challenge their assumptions of what they can and cannot do.

Inspired? Then Get Involved!

Would your university sports team, or school love to be involved in a PowerHouseGames? Could your company support our mission by volunteering at one of our PowerHouseGames? If so, then we would love to hear from you. We are also always looking out for people willing to fundraise for Power2Inspire through their own inspiring means. Or, you could volunteer individually at one of our events, or you could give to the ongoing work of Power2Inspire. There are SO MANY WAYS we can all help to ensure “no on else is left on the bench!” Click the button here to find out more.

Bethany Haran

P2I Intern


Games2Inspire part of Active Lives week

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Brand new School Games2Inspire!

We held our first Games2Inspire at Parmiter’s School on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024, as part of the school’s impressive Active Lives week. This was my first Games2Inspire event and what a special day it was!

Before we arrived, many students and teachers had already participated in a 5-kilometer walk or run at varying speeds, ensuring everyone could join regardless of skill level.

After receiving a warm welcome from the PE department staff, John held an assembly for just over 450 students at the school from various year groups. It was a pleasure to attend a Games2Inspire in person and witness the impact of John’s speeches on both students and teachers. The students were particularly drawn to John’s stories about embracing who you are, with the lamppost story being a big hit!

John, assisted by Mr. Clark, the Head of the PE Department at Parmiter’s, showcased some of the equipment he uses to participate in sports such as golf, tennis, and fencing. It was fantastic to see how this specialised equipment was tailored to John and contributes to inclusivity in sport. One teacher spoke to John after the presentation, highlighting how “truly inspirational” his story was.

Our first sessions began with around 120 Year 8 students, where we had five groups rotating through five stations. These included new age kurling, sitting volleyball, blindfolded penalties, boccia, and goalball, with each station running two games at once! The students were immediately engaged, working together to understand these games, their true inclusivity and supported each other to challenge themselves. Goalball was particularly popular among students. Whether they were blindfolded or coaching from behind the goal, they clearly benefited from enhanced communication skills, teamwork, and camaraderie.

Later in the day, we welcomed two groups of Year 10 students. I was particularly impressed by two students playing blindfolded penalties. Despite not knowing each other well, they trusted each other and communicated effectively to excel in the training rounds. The entire group encouraged them to both attempt the course blindfolded and aim for the goal. They succeeded in scoring! The entire group erupted in celebration!

I then had the pleasure of discussing the day’s success and the variety of events we run at Power2Inspire with the school’s Headmaster. He was extremely impressed with the event and the positive impact it had on the school’s Active Lives week. We all agreed that hosting a PowerHouseGames at Parmiter’s would be amazing in the future! We look forward to maintaining a close relationship with the school and planning a PowerHouseGames event soon!

Our final group consisted of Year 7 students who were the most excited I’d seen, especially considering it was the final period of the day. After a long day of studying, the inclusive games proved to be a perfect ending to their school day. The joyful cheers when players scored in sitting volleyball echoed through the hall and the Year 7 students were eager to learn the inclusive rules and adapt to each other’s ability levels.

At the end of each year-group session, we gathered to reflect on the games. John thanked everyone for their participation, and each student received a certificate for their involvement, which was evidently special. One student proudly displayed their certificate throughout the day in the playground, stating, “Look, my first certificate of achievement this year…look!” Their joy was undeniable! At the end of the session, John also invited students to give him a high paw; many lined up and happily celebrated with him.

A personal highlight was interacting and playing inclusive sports games with some of the PE department staff at Parmiter’s School. The commitment of all teachers to the students’ personal growth through sports was evident. It was wonderful to learn about other inclusive sports activities the school had hosted, such as wheelchair basketball just the day prior. A spirited game of new age kurling commenced between staff in the afternoon. This might have been my favorite activity (perhaps because my team won!).

I want to extend a huge thank you to all the staff at Parmiter’s School for their involvement, and to the students for their engagement. I left the day feeling inspired, seeing the work we do behind the scenes come to life at a Games2Inspire. I eagerly anticipate attending many more events like this! Make sure to check out @parmiterspedept on Instagram, where you’ll find a video reel of the day.

What are Games2Inspire?

Games2Inspire events are incredible events, most often hosted in schools, with an assembly and sports day which includes activities designed to be accessible and fun for everyone, with disabilities and none, sporty and not. Participants get to meet our inspirational founder, John Willis, and hear all about how John has overcome obstacles in his life. They then get to put that learning to practice by playing adapted games and sports together learning new skills and being encouraged to test their beliefs about ability and disability and what it is to be different, learning to respect other people’s differences. Power2Inspire works with them to challenge their assumptions of what they can and cannot do.

Inspired? Then Get Involved!

If you are interested in hosting a Games2Inspire in your school / college / company / community group then we would love to hear from you.

We are also always looking out for people willing to fundraise for Power2Inspire through their own inspiring means. Or, you could volunteer individually at one of our events, or you could give to the ongoing work of Power2Inspire. There are SO MANY WAYS we can all help to ensure “no on else is left on the bench!” Click the button here to find out more.

Bethany Haran

P2I Intern