Paralympic volleyball serves up more fun at Fairfax

An award-winning Sutton school which is renowned for serving up sporting opportunities for pupils of all abilities is introducing another Paralympic game for students to master.

Last week Fairfax Academy, in Fairfax Road, was named Secondary School of the Year at the Sutton Coldfield Sports Awards, in part due to its impressive programme of activities for disabled students.

Fairfax, which is north Birmingham’s only Resource Base and FAM – Fully Accessible Mainstream school – organises games such as table cricket and curling for youngsters, and even has pupils who play wheelchair football for Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion. Boccia, a seated bowls-style ball game, and zone hockey are also popular. Now it has added the Paralympic discipline of sitting volleyball to its sporting curriculum.

FAM sports at Fairfax School

Teaching assistant Tracey Taylor said: “It’s all about inclusion, and as far as possible we try to keep all the pupils taking part in PE together, however we do also provide a range of disability sports which our students can get involved in”.

“Sitting volleyball is just our latest addition – it’s the third Paralympic sport we do, along with curling and boccia. The pupils really like it,” said Tracey, who has been at Fairfax for 11 years.

Helen Williams, Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion and Participation, said: “We’ve been fully-accessible for 17 years and we work together to meet the needs of all of our pupils – inclusive sport is just one way that we can do that.

“Every child who comes here has exactly the same opportunities available to them as anyone else. We will adapt anything to meet their needs so that they get the full experience of life at Fairfax, from competing in house competitions to representing their School in Sporting events, from attendance at all extra curricular trips and D of E.”

Those trips included a table cricket championship at Edgbaston cricket ground this month. Regular enrichment days allow pupils to try new sports, regardless of their needs.

Teaching assistant Tracey Taylor said: “It’s all about inclusion, and as far as possible we try to keep all the pupils taking part in PE together, however we do also provide a range of disability sports which our students can get involved in”.

Head of Academy Deborah Bunn said: “Our approach to sport is all about inclusivity. It gives the pupils a sense of belonging to their house, teaches them about sportsmanship and develops their team skills. They are so passionate about it.

“It’s about aspirations too – we do play at a high level, which gives them a chance to go to a regional or national championships.”

Paralympic Volleyball At Fairfax School

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