CHILDREN PRACTICE PARALYMPIC SPORTS

Over 2500 school children from across London were taught Paralympic sports by Chelsea Foundation coaches during the Hackney Schools Sports Championships.

With just under a year to go until the Paralympic Games, school children of all abilities came together to take part in the country's biggest school sports competition and test their skills in Paralympic sports.

Teams from six London boroughs competed against each other in Paralympic sports including wheelchair basketball, sailing and archery at the Hackney Schools Sports Championships, organised by the Learning Trust. The Learning Trust delivers educational services to adult learners and over 27,000 pupils in more than 70 schools, nurseries, and playcentres in the borough of Hackney.

The championships are now in their fourth year and this was the biggest event yet. Each of the teams included both children with special educational needs and children without but for the first time everyone experienced visually impaired football after being given blindfolds.

Under the watchful eyes of Chelsea Foundation coaches, each pupil practiced their dribbling, shooting and passing skills with an official sound ball. A sound ball contains ball bearings which rattle around as the ball moves, allowing players to hear the ball and locate its position.

'This year's event has been a great success and I'm delighted that so many young people of all abilities were able to take part,'  said Aneurin Wood, lead organiser for the Hackney Schools Sports Championships. 'It was fantastic to see children of mixed abilities playing alongside each other as both teammates and opponents and there was a real competitive spirit throughout the week.

'The introduction of Visually Impaired Football was a great success and I would like to thank Rob from Chelsea as well as Dinesh and Dan for their hard work. The children absolutely loved trying it out and for many it was the highlight of the championships.'