The Cheshire Academy of Integrated Sport and Arts
What is the Cheshire Academy
The Cheshire Academy of Integrated Sports and Arts is an award winning centre based in Crewe, Cheshire. It was founded in March 1993 with the purpose of providing sporting and social opportunities for individuals with physical, sensory or learning disabilities. However the Academy is much more than that. We appreciate that families who have children with disabilities are often under great stress. The Cheshire Academy can assist families by helping them look beyond what a child or young person can do and to see their real potential for development. The Cheshire Academy won the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2007 in recognition of its work with children with disabilities and their families.
What can the Cheshire Academy offer you
One of the central pillars of the work of the Cheshire Academy is its provision of a child development department which teaches social and behavioural skills and is learning based. The Cheshire Academy also provides sports, social and leisure opportunities for children and young adults with a disability. We provide a very wide range of opportunities, and to take part in, train, and compete in a dozen different sports. We also have a number of youth clubs where children and adults with disabilities can meet and make new friends and take part in the activities that they enjoy. Among the sports and activities organised at the academy are the following.
- Leap Child Development Department (social and learning based for 2yrs to 6 years)
- Rhythmic Gymnastics
- Sports Acrobatics
- Table Tennis
- Wheelchair Sports
- Youth Clubs
- Young Athletes Programme (specifically for children aged 2—8 years old)
- Our Lollipop pre-school gymnastics club (for children aged 18 months to 5 years old)
Beneficial to certain families will be our specialist child development department called LEAP which is not sport based and works with children aged 2-6 years who may have greater needs due to challenging behaviour, or by the nature of their disability.
What sort of disabilities does the Academy cater for
The Academy runs a very comprehensive set of classes for children and young adults with disabilities. We work with children and young adults with Downs syndrome, autism, epilepsy, Fragile X, cerebral palsy, spina bifida; children who are deaf, and children with learning and intellectual disabilities. Many of our sports are wheelchair friendly and enable children and young adults who are wheelchair users to participate, train and compete in a whole range of sports. We use sport as framework for teaching a whole range of skills to improve balance, coordination, sequencing and listening skills. We also use the classes to teach social skills such as 'patience' and 'waiting' and we teach appropriate behaviour.
What about athletes who are partially sighted or registered blind
The Cheshire Academy has many years of experience of teaching sport to, and working children and young adults who are partially sighted or registered blind. Our youth clubs also welcome children and young adults with sensory disabilities . Many of our athletes who are partially sighted or registered blind have gone on to compete locally and regionally as well as enjoying the social activities run at the Academy such as our youth clubs.
How successful is the Academy
The Cheshire Academy is one of the most successful disability sports organisations in Great Britain. We have won sports titles at regional, national, European and world levels. Our disability athletes recently returned from the XIII World Special Olympic Games in Athens with 12 golds 8 silver and 5 bronze medals.
What age range do we cater for
We cater for a wide range of age groups. Children as young as 18 months old can be a part of our fully integrated pre-school gymnastics classes. Some of our other sports (such as boccia) are structured so that we have junior and senior sections allowing us to provide classes for adults.
Who coaches at the Academy
We have fully qualified staff who run each of the different sports. Staff are all CRB checked and adhere to the highest governing 'Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection' recommendations. We are also keen that individuals with disabilities be given the opportunity to gain coaching qualifications and we encourage coaches with disabilities to be an integral part of out work. Many individuals with disabilities have gone on to gain qualifications in Boccia, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Artistic Gymnastics, Football, and Table Tennis.
Do we cater for absolute beginners
From absolute beginners upwards. The Academy firmly believes in the principle of 'sport for all' and encourage participation at all levels. We cater for individuals with profound disabilities within our sports programme as well as providing the coaching and the opportunities for children and young adults with disabilities to reach World Championship standards in a range of sports.
Who does the Academy work with
The Academy has close ties with local Universities and Colleges providing students with the opportunity to learn and gain practical experience about disability sport as part of their Sports Science, Leisure or Health Degrees. The Cheshire Academy works closely with both mainstream and special schools and units, coaching sport as part of their curricular activities.
Our close links with the local health teams mean that health professionals have the opportunity to refer children with disabilities to us so that a special physical sensory or behavioural programme can be developed.
The Academy not only works with individuals with a disability but with their families and can advise and help develop strategies which can help reduce the amount of stress such families often face.
But most importantly, the Cheshire Academy is firmly rooted in the community providing a meeting place and a focus for all aspects of disability. We play a pivotal role in bringing the disabled and non disabled communities together
How the Academy works with Schools
The Academy works with a number of Schools. Please see our Schools link to explain the sort of work we do with local schools.
Does the Academy use volunteers
The Cheshire Academy welcomes individuals interested in volunteering. For further details please contact us by e mail or telephone (01270) 255355
How to contact the Academy
For more information about the Cheshire Academy please contact us