MFC Foundation and Tees Valley Sport gave more than 250 children with disabilities an unforgettable day of ice-skating at Billingham Forum, all thanks to the Premier League and BT Disability Fund.
Children from over 19 specialist schools across Teesside visited The Forum throughout the day, giving many young people there first every experience of being on the ice.
The event was part of MFC Foundation’s brand new disability programme, ‘Elements’, which plans to provide quarterly mass-participation events for children with disabilities, centering around the four elements; earth, wind, fire and water.
For one girl called Olga, 5, it was her very first time ice-skating, as she took to the rink on her wheelchair.
“Olga has cerebral palsy, and it is the first time she’s ever been ice-skating and she’s absolutely loved it,” her mother Emma said.
“She’s been on the ice with skates on, which is something that is very difficult for children with cerebral palsy, but Olga is so determined, she never gives up and always tries everything.”
Ten people from around the region also kindly volunteered on the event thanks to the BT Sport Volunteers programme. They were joined by another group of volunteers, Year 10 pupils from Nunthorpe Academy school in Middlesbrough.
“You have huge admiration for parents and people who support kids with disabilities and we’re giving a small part back, so it’s really been really rewarding for us all today in fact,” said volunteer John Rutterford.
“I just love getting out into the community helping to support kids. I love football, I love sport, and doing something like this is really rewarding.”
Lee Grace, MFC Foundation’s Disability Coordinator added: “To give over 250 children the chance to try something new and enjoy a day on the ice is absolutely fantastic, and the feedback we’ve had from teachers and parents alike has been wonderful.
“This wouldn’t have been possible without the Premier League and BT Sport, and we’d like to thank them for their ongoing support, and commitment to raising the aspirations of both children and adults with disabilities across the country.”
For more information about our adult and child disability programmes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org