Leyton Orient Trust were delighted to pick up two awards at the recent Waltham Forest sport awards for their work in the borough over the past year. On the night and competing against a number of other excellent projects they took home the ‘Best physical activity and health project’ for the development of their walking football programme and the ‘Best inclusive Project’ award for the Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) football club which is the first of its kind in the UK.
Walking football is a new and rapidly growing sport that allows older adults to get back into football, increasing their physical activity levels and improving their health – the beautiful game…only slower! On picking up the award Phillip Smith, Head of Health and Wellbeing stated:
‘We’re absolutely delighted to pick up the best physical activity and health project award that recognizes the amazing impact walking football has had in the community over the past year. It’s fantastic to see how quickly the programme has grown with over 45 participants signed up and actively participating in our weekly sessions. It is vital to keep physically active as you get older to help reduce the risk of a number of health related problems. With participants ranging from age 50 to 77 at present it’s great to see so many people engaging on the programme, having fun, getting fitter and keeping healthy!’
The second award picked up on the night was best inclusive project for the DCD Football Club. Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a condition affecting physical co-ordination that causes a child to struggle with motor planning affecting their ability to perform simple tasks such as kicking ball or throwing and catching.
Many children with DCD struggle to participate in sporting activities in school, particularly at lunchtimes and with other children of their own age, this often leading to a negative impact both on a personal and skill development level. The idea behind the DCD football club is to provide a safe, enjoyable and nurturing environment for children to improve and develop skills alongside other children with the same issues using football as a vehicle. Fiona Kingsley, an occupational therapist who helped co-found the DCD football club stated.
‘We were extremely proud and excited to win the award. We weren’t expecting it at all, so we were delighted to hear our Club’s name called out. We all felt it was a real acknowledgement of all the hard work we had put into creating the club and making it a success. I think the award also demonstrates the benefit of multiagency working.
"From working with Leyton Orient Trust we have been able to meet the needs of a vulnerable and often overlooked group of children and create a high standard football club which provides positive outcomes for the children and families which attend. We look forward to continuing our work with Leyton orient Trust and were so happy to win this award with them.’
If you would like further details on how to join walking football or would like more information on the DCD football sessions please visit the Leyton Orient Trust website: www.leytonorienttrust.org.uk