Water Ski & Wakeboard Scotland Embrace Disability Inclusion Training
28 October 2016
Waterski and Wakeboard Scotland (WWS) recognised a need to educate coaches, staff and volunteers in regards to disability inclusion within our sport. This area of development was also an important and targeted element contained within our Strategic Plan.
With the very welcomed financial support from BWSW through the Disability Training Fund and the support of Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) all this was made possible and we provided two disability inclusion courses, both held at the National Training Site (NTS) in Dunfermline. The course was presented by Richard Brickley MBE from SDS and tailored to be sports specific to water skiing and wakeboarding.
Each course was offered free of charge and capable of accommodating up to 20 participants per day, held on two weekday evenings three weeks apart lasting approx. 2.5 hours each night. The course itself was in a relaxed format requiring participation from all involved. Although primarily aimed at coaches it held great value to educate staff and volunteers alike.
Having attended the course, each participant learnt the following key points;
- Recognise a disabled athlete as an individual, not an impairment
- Have a shared vision with your participants in terms of coaching goals and expectations. Communicating and working together to achieve them
- Talk to a disabled participant about their impairment and able plan effective coaching sessions with adapted practices
- Know the sport you coach. Have a passion to develop yourself as a coach
- Don’t assume you can’t coach disabled people. As well as your previous coaching experiences, a willingness and open mind are important qualities that will help you to coach disabled athletes
- Not all disabled people want to only participate with other disabled people, encourage more disabled people into your coaching sessions
- Don’t try to learn everything you can about every impairment. Talk to the individual and adapt your session – they have the best knowledge of what their body can do
- If an activity isn’t working for everyone, adapt it. Use the great coaching knowledge you have
- Keep an open mind, talk to, and learn from, other coaches and share your experiences and ideas about coaching disabled athletes
Scottish Disability Sport were very interested in our sport and our current inclusive practice and requested WWS to create a video which would showcase one of our athletes with a disability.
The video features WWS member Carter Taylor who is on the autistic spectrum - it shows the benefits of water skiing for Carter but also the small adapations WWS have made to ensure Carter is able to enjoy the sport as much as the next person.
The video displays our sport in a good inclusive light and will hopefully encourage other clubs to share their good practice and be confident with offering the sport to those with an impairment.
You can view the video here -
'Water Skiing - Inclusive Coaching in Practice