BLOG: Practitioners empowered through disability sport awareness


TASS Institutions Lead, Kirsty O’Connor, is running a series of Disability Sport and Awareness Training Workshops in partnership with Smile Through Sport.

Smile Through Sport CIC, founded in 2013 by Rachel Miller and her husband, Paralympian Stephen Miller MBE, combines the services of inspirational speaking, training courses and disability sport development. O’Connor explains why TASS is investing in this important CPD opportunity. 

Monday’s get together in Birmingham provided bespoke disability awareness and disability sport training to ten practitioners within our network, delivered by the vastly experienced Rachel Miller.

The aim of the day was to increase skills and personal confidence in engaging and working with disabled athletes, as well as challenging the attendees to focus on the positive aspects of disability.

Through a series of practical group tasks, lecture snippets and informational videos, practitioners were able to further their skills and apply their newly acquired knowledge to their respective areas of expertise.

The workshop participants represented a range of the TASS core service areas, with S&C coaches, Physiotherapists, Lifestyle Advisors and Delivery Site Leads amongst those in attendance.

Classification, basic sign language and ethics and equality were amongst the topics covered by the course, providing great insight and furthering the existing knowledge base of our practitioners. Advice and tips were also shared regarding suitable S&C programmes, lifestyle topics and physio exercises for disabled athletes.

Rachel gathered feedback from the attendees around useful content for a future booklet she will produce, which will act as a great resource and reference point for TASS practitioners nationwide.

Participants were even offered a 30 minute phone call with Rachel, providing the opportunity for them to ask specific questions relating to their own particular service areas or their work with specific sports and student-athletes.

For me it was clear that the day had been really valuable to all in attendance, improving practitioners’ understanding of the culture of disability sport and ultimately enhancing the service they are able to provide to disabled athletes at their respective Delivery Sites.