SCORES of youngsters tried their hand at wheelchair basketball at a sports taster session for people with disabilities inspired by the upcoming Paralympic Games.
Give it a Go Day, organised by Portsmouth Parent Voice, brought crowds of young people and children up to the age of 25 to Portsmouth Guildhall Square yesterday to try out some of the sports on offer.
There was also a penalty shoot-out and the chance to try boccia – a target ball game – at the event.
Tracey Fisher, from Portsmouth Parent Voice, said: ‘The kids had a fantastic day. The wheelchair basketball was really popular – everyone wanted to try that.
‘It was very physically challenging but they all wanted to give it a go anyway.
‘The boccia was popular too. That required a lot more concentration and was more about tactics than anything else, but they all had a lot of fun with it.
‘Children with disabilities often find it hard to join in with sports because the set-up isn’t right for them, or their needs aren’t met in the activity, so this was a great chance for them to try something new in a safe environment where they were supervised by their family and they felt included.’
The event also aimed to inform parents of the kinds of services that are in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.
In order to do this there were stalls run by organisations such as Portsmouth Autism Support Network, Portsmouth Parent Partnership Service, Chat and Carer Centre.
Tracey added: ‘We wanted to provide parents with as much information as possible about the services available to them in the city in the one place.
‘Parents often tell us that they know that information is available somewhere but it’s spread across too many different places.
‘We wanted to make it easier for them by having all that in the one place.’
The fire service and community police officers were also at the fun day and children could look inside emergency service vehicles.
Portsmouth Parent Voice runs regular events for kids with disabilities. For more information see parentvoice.co.uk.