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PowerHouseGames travel to University of Warwick

We recently partnered with University of Warwick to host our inclusive PowerHouseGames. The games invited local schools to team-up with inspiring sports personalities to compete in university-style sports, including boccia, new age Kurling and goalball. The games are designed to ensure everyone, of all abilities, can take part – and that nobody is “left on the bench”.

On Thursday 9th February 2023, three schools competed at the fantastic University Sports and Wellness Hub at The University of Warwick. Taking part were children from Sidney Stringer Academy, Coventry, Avon Park School, Rugby, and Leicester Grammar School, Leicester.

Each team included a volunteer sportsman and sportswoman, and three children – with one child from each group having special educational needs. We were also delighted to be joined by GB Paralympian, Karé Adenegan, who fully immersed herself in the fun.

The pastoral lead from Sidney Stringer Academy – the state school that attended – said they had deliberately chosen pupils who didn’t usually get involved in sport and many were from disadvantaged backgrounds. She was so pleased to see them getting stuck in and they had such a great time.

Leicester Grammar School, representatives from the independent school sector, brought year 8 students to participate and year 12 students to help supervise each game. One year 12 student enjoyed the day so much that he asked to come again!

Nikki Laybourne, Head of Girls’ Cricket, Leicester Grammar School said:

“This was the second time we’ve brought students to a PowerHouseGames, and once again this one did not disappoint! Our younger students had a great time learning to work as a team with pupils from other Schools and Warwick University.

“They really enjoyed participating in sports that most of them had never experienced before and listening to Karé Adenegan talk about her experiences leading up to becoming a Paralympian. Our Year 12 students were able to work on their leadership and coaching skills, in sports they had very little knowledge about, alongside working on their communication skills with people they had never met before. Overall, it was a superb experience for all those involved.”

Oscar Fraser, Year 8 student, Leicester Grammar School, said:

“I really enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to come to the PowerHouseGames in Warwick which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also think it’s a positive message to young people, such as myself that spreads positivity of ‘no one left on the bench’.

I also enjoyed the various different games that were on offer there such as walking football. All the staff and volunteers were really nice and kind and I would definitely go again if there was an opportunity to do so.”

John Willis, Founder and Chief Ambassador, Power2Inspire, and University of Warwick alumnus said:

“PowerHouseGames are incredible sports days using adapted games and sports. All the activities are especially designed to be accessible and fun for everyone, old and young, with disabilities and none, sporty and not – and in so doing are wonderfully inclusive.

“I’m proud to be able to introduce sports events that showcase how people with special educational needs and disabilities can be included.

“An excited Warwick University student exclaimed that it was the first sports event they had ever been to as she requested a selfie! She was beaming and added that boccia was her favourite. It’s moments like this that highlight the importance of the work we do.”

“As an alumnus of Warwick I was thrilled to establish our first PowerHouseGames at the university. David Colliver, Paul Robbins, Iain McKinney, Kieron Carroll, Vicky Law, Rebecca Kilcullen and Becky Easterbrook all helped bring it to fruition almost two years from the initial contact. Being invited to speak at a graduation ceremony last summer was crucial as I met Stuart Croft, the Vice Chancellor, whose support added key momentum.”

Joe Warren, Director of Sports Operations and Delivery at Warwick Sport, University of Warwick said:

“We were delighted to partner with Power2Inspire to host the PowerHouseGames. This was a fantastic opportunity for us to welcome local schools and inspiring sports personalities into our Sports and Wellness Hub. Our collaboration with Power2Inspire allows us to play our part in providing inclusive sporting opportunities for people of all abilities and ensure that nobody is left on the bench.”

Andrew Todd, Director of Regional Strategy and Partnerships, University of Warwick said:

“We were proud to sponsor this very first PowerHouseGames at our accessible Sports and Wellness Hub. We want to encourage sport for everyone and support active communities in our region. These games were a great opportunity for us to bring together local school children, our staff and students and staff from our partner University College Birmingham to enjoy a truly inclusive sporting event.

“A special thank you to Coventry’s very own Paralympian, recent Commonwealth Games silver medallist and University of Warwick alumna, Karé Adenegan, who also joined us at the games for a fantastic day of inclusive sport.”

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.

John Willis

Founder & Chief Ambassador, Power2Inspire

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