Win a Manchester United signed ball and help Seashell students climb to the top!

Climbing is rapidly gaining popularity amongst young people: it had its Olympic debut in 2021 and has a strong presence in the para-sport sector. In addition to the physical element of the sport, it can also help develop trust, communication skills, body awareness and mobility for people of all abilities. Despite this, there is still a gap at grassroots level for young people with disabilities to access the sport.

Sarah Jones, Manchester United Foundation SEND officer is raising money to purchase adapted climbing equipment for Seashell. To support her efforts, Manchester United have kindly donated a signed football by this year’s men’s team – each £10 donated is worth one entry into the draw!

 For me climbing started as a job when I was an outdoor instructor almost 10 years ago. It quickly turned into a hobby and has followed me throughout my career in adult social care, teaching and disability sport development. This project started as a tiny idea back in 2018, where I hoped to start a ‘quiet hour’ at a local climbing centre for young people with autism to access the sport. Now, working for Manchester United Foundation, I am championing inclusive climbing as a provision for SEND young people in the form of holiday clubs and curriculum delivery, and that is just the start!

One of the biggest barriers to SEND young people accessing climbing is appropriate equipment: the funding raised by this challenge will help us change this by purchasing specialised climbing equipment to allow young people from the SEND partner schools to access the sport. In both partner schools and Seashell’s holiday provision, young people of all abilities will be able to access climbing at a local climbing centre with a qualified instructor without lack of equipment being a barrier.

We often assume a person who uses a wheelchair can’t climb a wall, or that a person who is blind and deaf can’t reach the top of a route. This isn’t the case. By changing our perception of climbing and adapting what we see as an achievement within the sport, the opportunities for young people with disabilities to climb become endless.

 To donate to Sarah’s just giving page and see what other fundraising activities she is involved in click here.