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Keeping the pace at the Arc

This week is Learning Disability Week and with the theme this year being sport and inclusion, there wasn’t a better chance than to go down to the Arc and check out the physical fun happening.

Every Tuesday, the Arc holds a session called Pace, a group that comes down to run games and activities which aim to help people get active and social. Being quite a popular session and filling up as the hour went on, the room was divided into the red and blue team, which meant a great atmosphere of team spirit and encouragement. It wasn’t only the competitors having all the fun – Certitude staff were full of smiles and laughter, helping the red and blue teams do their best at Bocce, which is a game where you aim your ball closest to the target ball.

Alex is a trainer from Pace, as well as being a Champion in Bocce. He says its is always a favourite at the Arc, and Alex runs the sessions from his own wheelchair

Wendy Bayoumi, Deputy Manager of the Arc said that this year’s Learning Disability Week theme is incredibly important to recognise and activities that can include everyone can make all the difference.

“The activities are fun but are also giving people the exercise that they need. Some of the people that come to the Pace sessions are from our residential services and this is probably the only physical exercise they get.”

During the sessions, Wendy explains that having the activities in a group environment, with a focus on teams, makes everyone step up in their approach to do their best.

“Group activity is very important. They take their red and their blue teams very seriously and they’re very competitive as far as that goes. But it also eggs them on and gives them that encouragement that they will want to do better. Whereas if they were on their own, being physical would be more of a routine and something they have to do every day.”

Support worker Iman Farah, who clapped and cheered for everyone in the session, also agreed with the sessions being a great way be inclusive and provide the right activities for the people we support.

“It’s really nice because the guys love it, it gets them to move physically about because the majority of the people we support are in a wheelchair, so it gives them the chance to move their arms and we all have a laugh at these sessions, it’s fun!

“I think it’s really important to recognise physical activity. Just because our guys are in a wheelchair doesn’t mean they can’t take part in sports. It just needs to be adjusted for them, which as you can see is more than possible. The importance is definitely there, everybody deserves to be a part of it, why not!”

Learning Disability Week isn’t the end of sports and physical activity for the Arc. The THERA-Trainer is a self-motorised exercise bike that helps people to improve the function of their muscles and joints. The bike will be on trial at the Arc for 6 weeks – stay tuned for more updates on this soon!