Special needs students from Derby school celebrate national sporting success as countdown to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games begins

Pupils from a Derby special school picked up two gold, two silver and one bronze medal when they competed against 200 young disabled athletes from across the UK in the National Junior Athletics Championships.

The team from St Martins School in Derby were representing the East Midlands at the British Athletics-backed Games. Penguin PR: public relations, media and communications

The students from St Martins Special School, in Alvaston, had already competed alongside 1000 other disabled athletes to win a spot at the nationals, during the recent regional qualifiers across England.

Representing the East Midlands, Billy Ellerington from the school won a gold medal in the 800m and a silver in the 100m, fellow pupil Michael King won a silver medal in the 800m, while Brandon Wilson and Niav South scooped first and third places respectively in the 100m race.

Activity Alliance organised the event, which for the first time in its history was held at Moorways Athletics Stadium in Derby, with support from the Lions Clubs International and British Athletics.



Billy Ellerington and Michael King both won medals for St Martins School. Penguin PR: public relations, media and communications

Previous competitors include Paralympians Hannah Cockroft, Hollie Arnold, Ben Rowlings and Kare Adenegan are among those who have gone on to compete on the international stage.

Head teacher Debbie Gerring said: “We are tremendously proud of our students who once again showed that their disabilities are not barriers to achieving great things.

“Children with disabilities don’t generally have as many opportunities as mainstream children to play elite sport and events like this raise expectations and aspirations so we were delighted to take part.

“We have a number of talented athletes and we are now exploring opportunities for some of our students to join clubs to further develop their talents and would like to set up opportunities for students to compete against mainstream children.

“We are also exploring the kinds of pathways they need to pursue to represent England or Great Britain at events like the special Olympics.”

St Martins, which is one of the only schools in the city to be named outstanding three times in a row by Ofsted, works hard to encourage its pupils to be active and reap the personal and social benefits of exercise.

The school is currently organising an inclusive event called SHOUTaboutSEND 5k which is open to members of the public of all ages and abilities and is due to be staged on October 5.

The event, which will comprise a 5k, a 2.5k run and a shorter sensory run, is designed to raise aspirations, showcase the talent of St Martins’ students and celebrate all things sport and special educational needs.

Pupils at the school’s sixth form Horizons will be helping to run the event as part of the employability curriculum and have been put in charge of advertising, designing a logo, printing t-shirts and providing catering and entertainment on the day.

For further information about the event, or to take part, please visit @SHOUTaboutSEND and @SMSAteaching on twitter or contact Alistair Crawford via email a.crawford@stmartins.derby.sch.uk





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