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

Pictured are the participants of the Southern Trust Fit 4 U Project at Banbridge Leisure Centre to celebrate 'International Day of People with Disabilities'
Pictured are the participants of the Southern Trust Fit 4 U Project at Banbridge Leisure Centre to celebrate 'International Day of People with Disabilities'

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 December 3 for people with physical disabilities and the second event took place on December 10 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 at the first event and Deputy Lord Mayor, Margaret Tinsley at the second.

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 continued: “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 Trust in partnership with organisations, including the local Council authorities and Sport NI-funded Everybody Active coaches. If you would like to find out more contact Rhonda Richardson on 028 3756 4490 or email rhonda.richardson@southerntrust.hscni.net