Fighting fit with global challenge launch

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The statue at Greenbank Sports Centre. Pic © Faye Wasilowski JMU Journalism

Liverpool formed part of a scheme by Mencap and Sport England as they launched a Round The World Challenge, which sees those with learning disabilities take part in a range of sports activities, encouraging fitness and exercise.

The initiative came to Greenbank Sports Centre last Wednesday and aims to take any amount of physical activity completed and turn it into a distance travelled around the world.

There are five multi-sports sessions available, including boccia, football and cricket.

Those who partake can choose from three separate routes, made available by Mencap. These include: the UK, Europe and World route, with hours spent in physical activity ranging from 20 to 100.

For every hour of activity done, participants will record this in their own “passport”-like tracker.

Fab Liverpool, a disability charity, is also partaking in the challenge. They are offering football sessions at The Greenbank Sports Centre, which is offering Boccia sessions.

Lancashire Cricket Club’s Sport One’s is also involved in the event, and offers those with learning difficulties the chance to enjoy in the sport.

YouTube: Faye Wasilowski

JMU Journalism spoke to Amlyn Layton, a volunteer with the cricket club. He said: “The more hours of physical activity that you do, you go along your chosen journey and complete The Round The World Challenge.”

The 23 year old coach continued: “The initiative will go on for the foreseeable future. It is a growing initiative which aims to get people with learning difficulties active. There is a chance to participate in these clubs all of the time. It is not just a one-off opportunity.”

Mr Layton also spoke of the health benefits of the event, adding: “There are the physical benefits, which make you feel good about yourself. There is also a social element, as you will meet new people and become part of a group of friends.”

Sophie Coyne, who is a 20 year old volunteer at Greenbank, spoke of what being involved in disability sports means to her, telling JMU Journalism: “My real focus is disability sport in general. I think it is underrated sometimes and people don’t understand how difficult it is.

“People with disabilities get left out of things, but when you come here, everyone mixes together and it really is good because no one gets left out.

“If people came here for one day, maybe they could see the day in the life of a disability sports player.”

About Faye Wasilowski, JMU Journalism