After a successful transition from associate member to branch and the swimming club established in 2009 it was time to establish another sporting club. In February 2010 Special Olympics East Herts (SOEH) supported by Amwell View School and Specialist Sports College started to provide competitive Athletics training for young people and adults with learning difficulties.
Training is delivered by Kirsty Aitken who is a qualified Level 2 athletics coach and is supported by PE teachers and sports coaches from Amwell View School who volunteer their time to ensure high quality organised provision. The teachers and coaches are also committee members and are dedicated to the development of disability sport and using Special Olympics as a vehicle to do this.
The club is and has been supported by many volunteers who we welcome to work alongside coaches to support athletes during training and competition. The club encourages coaches and volunteers to work alongside experienced people to increase their knowledge of working with people with learning difficulties. We are thankful to our dedicated team of volunteers who give up their time to make training and competitions possible.
After our first year of the club becoming established we won “Best Newcomer Club for Service to Sport 2010”
Training takes place every Monday night from 6-7pm at Wodson Park Sports Centre in Ware, Hertfordshire. Training consists of track and field outside in the summer months when weather and light permits and takes place in the form of Sportshall Athletics in the North Hall in the winter months.
Since 2009 the number of athletes attending training have grown considerably. SOEH formed a partnership with local athletics club Herts Pheonix who allow us to use their Sportshall equipment in the winter months. Wodson Park Sports Centre are also very supportive of our endeavour to provide athletics training for people with learning difficulties.
Monday Training Session
- 6-7pm at Wodson Park Sports Centre Wadesmill Road, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 0UQ. Tel: 01920 487 091
- Minimum age = 8 years old – no age limit.
- All athletes must complete club and SOGB registration forms.
- Parent/Carers must remain on site to provide support with any Care or Behavioural needs.
- Training sessions are run by qualified professional coaches and teachers and are assisted by sports leaders and volunteers who are registered and have completed CRB checks.
- The session costs £3.00 per athlete per week.
Club Contact: Neil Ward
Tel: 01920 870027
SOEH attends 6 regional competitions each year around the South East. Venues include Portsmouth, Eton, Uxbridge, and Picketts Lock. The events allow athletes to put the skills practiced at training into competition against athletes from other clubs and regions with the aim to win a medal. SOEH organise a regional Athletics competition on behalf of the Eastern Region. On Saturday 24th September 2011 we held our second annual regional competition on a glorious sunny day at Wodson Park, in Ware. The event welcomed teams from East Herts, Worcestershire, Eastbourne, North London, Harrow, Peterborough and Enfield totalling in excess of 110 athletes. The day was a great success with athletes showing great determination when competing and always giving there best in the attempt to win a medal. Special Olympics East Herts were represented by 34 athletes on the day and managed to win 52 medals with many Personal Best times and distances being broken. The event was open to spectators and on many occasions throughout the day commented on the lovely relaxed and friendly atmosphere which was great to hear.
The day was supported by so many wonderful volunteers that made it possible including Derek Goodhall and the 1st Braughing Scout group who camped over night to ensure the event was organised and co-ordinated which really did create such a welcoming atmosphere for everyone involved. A team of Young Officials from The Cheshunt School officiated all track and field events supported by their PE teacher Roy Tucker who was our starter on the day. The event was also supported by Amwell View School and Specialist Sports College with many of the staff attending to volunteer anywhere that they were needed. I would also like to mention the support given in the form of medal presentations and additional volunteers by members of the National Grid, Ware Joggers, Herts Pheonix Athletics Club and a guest appearance from Michael McGrath (Polar Explorer). This special event would not have been possible without the dedication of coaches, parents and the athletes themselves who give up their time and energy to train and travel to competitions all on a voluntary basis.