Thank you to The Dan Maskell Tennis Trust!
The Dan Maskell Tennis Trust kindly donated tennis equipment to The Children’s Trust in Tadworth
Our Head of Therapy Rehabilitation commented:
“We use the kit within our sports sessions and day to day physio including for the visit with Tim Henman. It has enabled us to increase the sport offer as we now have more appropriate equipment. Just having more equipment means that more children can take part in group activities.
The inclusion of sports at The Children’s Trust has increased significantly over the last year; we want to make sure that children have an active life after their brain injury and are physically fit and active. We know that children and young people with an acquired brain injury are less likely to engage in sport and get fewer opportunities, so we want to raise expectations and increase opportunities whilst the children are with us. Tennis is very motivating and a great way to work on physical, communication social and organisational skills.
The equipment needed to offer a range of sports is vast – the supply of tennis equipment has enabled us to include tennis as part of our sports offer over the year. We want to ensure we give choice and variety and we need to grade the physical challenge of tennis, so different size balls and rackets are vital. There are lots of children playing at any one time so we need a lot of equipment.
We have also had tennis matches and used the tennis equipment for group games. This encourages communication and social opportunities for children, many of whom will be re-learning these skills.”
Our Head of Therapy for The Children’s Trust School also explained that the donated tennis equipment has been used regularly in school. It increases the number of activities available to the children and enhances their experience at The Children’s Trust.
Our play team works closely with parents to teach them how to play with their newly disabled child. If their child was developing typically and was over a certain age, the child would have been able to play and entertain themselves. Having acquired a disability, the child becomes much more reliant on parents for play and social interaction. Parents need to learn different ways of communicating and playing with their child and at first this can be very daunting.
Parents are often still traumatised from the accident/illness of their child. Having the play team to take the pressure off or play with their child for a few hours can help them start to recover. The activities provided by the play team can also demonstrate that their child can still have fun, and take part in play activities such as sports. Through the inclusion of disabled children in sports, their siblings can also learn to interact with their brother or sister again.
The play team works hard to show the parents and children that becoming disabled doesn’t mean you have to stop play and leisure activities. The disabled child might need to do things differently but can still take part, join teams, and make friends. The more we can expose them to sporting activities whilst at The Children’s Trust, the more likely they are to continue trying new things and participating when they leave and go back home.