Lothian Sportshall Athletics Festival 2015
West Lothian College - Thursday 6th February
Once again West Lothian College played host to the annual Regional Sportshall Athletics Festival, which saw over 140 young people from across five local authorities register to participate. Following on from last year, pupils from the Borders travelled north to participate and compliment the numbers from the four local authorities.
The festival welcomes young people with a physical/learning disability or sensory impairment and encourages children from both primary and secondary schools to come along and try a range of indoor athletics events, such as the javelin throw, standing long jump and shuttle runs and therefore introducing them to the sport. The event also acts as a Regional Qualifier for the Scottish Disability Sport National Event on the 4th March, where a selected team of young people will be given the opportunity to represent Lothian against their peers from across Scotland.
Due to the number of young people who continue to attend this event, the day was split into two sessions - morning and afternoon. The event was again supported by students from West Lothian College, who undertake Disability Inclusion Training and an Adapted Sportshall Athletics Worhshop in the lead up to the event. The input from the students is invaluable and this is clearly demonstrated through the positive engagement and interaction with the young people throughout the day. Thanks is extended to Alex McEwan, Athletics Development Officer for WL and Shona Malcolm, Disability Development Officer for Scottish Athletics who continue to provide significant support before and during the event. Also Kelly Keogh, Active Schools Co-ordinator in WL, who helped engage ten schools from the area.
The event is a staple in the School Calendar of Events and the engagement from the young people is again very positive, especially in the West Lothian area. Hopefully this introduction to the sport will encourage the young people across the Region to explore further opportunities in athletics and sport on the whole.