Eastbury Primary School – Thursday 26th March 2015
The sky was grey, a cold wind came howling from the west, and rain seemed to drizzle on and off. But when the students filled Eastbury Primary School the energy and excitement they produced seemed to clear away the dreadful weather, making it irrelevant.
The students surveyed the games they were about to play like they eye presents under a Christmas tree. Some couldn’t help themselves as they bravely began playing football with me, laughing as they made me chase the ball around the gymnasium. Already I could spot confidence growing in what were initially shy students.
I had the absolute privilege of running the dodgeball session on the day. Two minutes in I realised the challenge set before me. Working and teaching deaf students without any knowledge of sign language is a real obstacle. Fortunately I was surrounded by the true heroes of the day. Teachers, aids, volunteers, coaches, and parents of these students who knew how to sign jumped right in and communicated to the students as I explained the rules of dodgeball. Even students were helping each other explain the rules! It was quite the scene.
With a little direction the students picked up the techniques involved and began giving all the endless energy they had to dodgeball. Smiles could be seen all around as rubber balls launched across the gymnasium. Eventually I set the students against their teachers and parents. Let’s just say they didn’t hesitate to defeat their teachers in a dominant fashion.
When I talked with the children at the start of the day, they were quite hesitant about sport. After the festival they all seemed to have found at least one sport they loved!! These students really seemed to enjoy the teamwork and spirit that is created from the friendly competition of the games. Overall, it was a fantastic day that I will never forget.
A gigantic THANK YOU to the staff from all the schools involved, especially Majella from Eastbury primary school, the coaches, volunteers, parents, and SportInspired personnel for another amazing opportunity to inspire students to play sport and join a sports club. I encourage anyone with the slightest curiosity about these games to check out a festival to see the growth of confidence, leadership, and social skills. It’s a spectacle you truly have to see to realise that something really special is coming from these games. I know I have!
Forrest Payne, SportInspired Intern