Able2 up for prestigious award

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A sports club giving youngsters with learning difficulties the chance to take part in national competitions has been nominated for an award.

Able2 Pontefract Special Olympics, set up in 2009, is in the running for the Group Award at this year’s Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards (YCCA).

The club, which meets at Pontefract Swimming Pool and Featherstone Sports Centre, currently has 12 members.

Terry Raddings, Able2’s vice chairman and swimming coach, said: “It’s absolutely amazing for us to be nominated for the award.

“We’re all volunteers and we don’t do what we do for accolades, we do it for the athletes, but it’s nice to be recognised in this way.”

His 16-year-old son Thomas, who has Down’s syndrome, is a successful swimmer in the club. He has just returned from the Down’s syndrome British Championships in Reading.

Members of the Able2 group compete in various sports, including athletics, equestrian skills, new age curling and boccia, and each year a team heads to the Special Olympics National Games.

Mr Raddings added: “All our members have learning difficulties ranging from Down’s syndrome to autism and the club is very important to them.

“They get a social setting which they wouldn’t normally have, it’s great for their self confidence and gives them a real sense of achievement.

“We firmly believe that everybody is good at something and we give them the chance to compete in local, national and European competitions.

“We want to allow them to flourish in the sports they choose to compete in.”

This year’s awards ceremony will be held in Leeds in October.

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