Fit 4 U celebrates ‘International Day of People with Disabilities’

13th December 2019

Participants of the Southern Trust Fit 4 U Project met at Banbridge Leisure recently for two special Olympic themed events to celebrate ‘International Day of People with Disabilities’.

This is a recognized day for the celebration of the achievements of people living with disabilities across the world.A total of 94 people with disabilities, 21 carers and six volunteers from across Armagh, Dungannon, Craigavon, Banbridge and Newry attended these two events.

The first event took place on 3rd December for people with physical disabilities and the second event took place on 10th December for people with learning disabilities.

Events incorporated a range of Olympic Games, including Javelin, golf, racquet sports, relay races and shot putt. Following a fun competition, participants were presented with medals and congratulated by the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Cllr Mealla Campbell on Dec 3rd and Deputy Lord Mayor, Margaret Tinsley on Dec 10th.

Rhonda Richardson, Fit 4 U Co-ordinator, explained: “These events provide an opportunity for people with disabilities to participate in accessible and inclusive games, try new activities and enjoy fun and friendship with participants from across the Southern area.

“Within the theme and ethos of ‘International Day of People with Disabilities’, Fit 4 U seeks to promote awareness of the challenges faced by people living with disabilities and promote inclusion, equity, participation and citizenship.”

Philip Fitzpatrick, participant said: “I was overwhelmed with receiving a medal, it meant so much to me and I would like to take part in similar events in the future.”

Teresa Fitzpatrick, carer explained: “In the two years that Philip has been recovering from his stroke, this was the best event he has attended by far, it meant so much meeting other people with disabilities, in similar situations.

“As a carer you can also feel isolated and meeting other carers at this event was very special and everyone felt very included.  To see as a carer what my husband could achieve was fantastic.”

The Fit 4 U Project aims to empower people with disabilities to improve their health and wellbeing through participation in a range of innovative day time physical activity and sports opportunities.

Fit 4 U operates in five Leisure Centres across the Southern Trust, at Dungannon, Armagh, Craigavon, Banbridge and Newry Leisure Centre.  Participants enjoy a range of activities, including group exercise, boccia, kurling, archery, indoor golf, badminton and ball skills.

The Fit 4 U Project is funded by the Public Health Agency and led by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in partnership with other organisations, including the local Council authorities and Sport NI-funded Everybody Active coaches.

If you would like to find out more about how to get involved in the activities available, please contact Rhonda Richardson, Fit 4 U Co-ordinator, Tel. 028 3756 4490 or email rhonda.richardson@southerntrust.hscni.net