Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for Wheelchair Hi-5

Welcome to my posts for the A to Z Challenge 2016.
This year, I am posting 
Special School Stories
 tales from either my time as a teacher or teaching assistant within classrooms in the U.K. or from my own school days growing up around the country.

At one of the schools where I taught, we were lucky enough to have a large school hall that was NOT used for lunch sittings so this meant that sporting activities could happen during lunch time.  As I’d always enjoyed netball at school (despite being one of the smallest on the court) I thought I would coach this.  However, wanting to be fair and give equal opportunities to boys as well I decided to go down the path of Hi-5 rather than straight netball.
Check out the video to learn more

I recruited various children and began coaching and eventually posters turned up from England Netball to be put up in school to help explain rules and show positions etc.  The children gathered round to look at these new posters as they came out of the packaging tube and help put them up about the hall.

“Hey, that looks great,” said one child unrolling a poster.  “When do we get our wheelchairs?”

“Wheelchairs?” I asked in bemusement.

“Yes, like they’ve got,” he continued and turned the poster round so the rest of us could see it.  The poster showed a child in a wheelchair playing Hi-5.

“Oh wow,” said the other children.  “That would be great.  Are we going to do that too?”

Obviously, I had to explain to them that the child in the wheelchair had mobility difficulties and that we would not be playing this way.  However, it also gave me a lift to realise that they didn’t see the wheelchair as something odd and instead embraced this idea.  We never did get to meet any wheelchair participants whilst we played in our tournaments but I always felt that those children would forever be willing to include anyone in sport and games when they got to secondary school.

You know I’d love to know your thoughts on sports in schools so leave a comment below.  Which team games did you enjoy playing at school?  Were you inclusive on the sports field or did the occasion never arise?  Did you ever have to battle to be in a team for whatever reason? Do you think the younger generation has a better attitude to inclusion in sport?


  1. I did what I could to avoid sports. See my book Athletic Antics. I do think kids today are more open and inclusive to all.

  2. I didn't like PE (physical education) at all, but I had asthma as a kid and was terrible at playing. Later I took karate classes, which was a boost to self-confidence. Even though I was not that coordinated, I still learned how to kick and punch (and that if something really bad happens, it's better to run away than fight!) Maui Jungalow

  3. I disliked PE classes with a passion. I remember one summer my mom forced me to play softball. She thought it would be good for me. It wasn't. I sat all summer on the bench! As for sports in school...sometimes I think sports get more emphasis than education gets. Like Football and Basketball at the high school level!!