Why Horizon Sports Club matters
Eleanor – Down Syndrome
“Eleanor has participated in both mainstream and disability swimming lessons since she was 5 years old. She was 14 when she started swimming with Horizon Sports Club. The Horizon programme at Wycombe Abbey gave her the continued support that she needed to progress from paddling and diving for rings to swimming lengths, freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. The one to one support with the students at Wycombe Abbey was crucial to the development of those skills, as well as the specialised disability coaching. Eventually, Eleanor no longer needed the one to one support in the water that Horizon provides so in Summer 2017 , Eleanor said good-bye to her friends at Horizon and moved to the Enable Squad at the Wycombe District Swimming Club. The Enable Squad is a competitive disability swimming squad. Eleanor has participated in a Paralympic swimming gala and club championships, with more to come.”
Robert – Autistic, non verbal, age 16
“Robert has been coming to Horizon for 18 months and really looks forward to his Thursday swimming sessions.
The 1-1 helpers are all so kind and enthusiastic and it is a great opportunity for parents to relax and enjoy an uninterrupted chat, knowing their son or daughter is safe and happy.”
Fred – Autistic, non verbal, age 13
“Horizon is a bit of sunshine in my son’s week. The only after-school sports club he is able to attend. He loves his swimming and knows when it is Thursday by getting his swimming things. ”
Keelan – Autistic, age 8
“Keelan has been coming to Horizon for two years. He has done gymnastics/multisport classes and is now enjoying Tennis. The one to one support he receives is fantastic which helps his confidence. He is beginning to enjoy games at school a little more. Long may the club continue for boys and girls with extra needs.”
Miles – ADHD, Autistic, age 14
“Miles has been coming to Horizon Tennis for 3 terms and enjoys each week. He gets upset if he has to miss a week for other family commitments. He does not communicate well with others, but finds tennis fun with the students who help him. He has developed a good stroke and is developing a lot of skills we never thought he would achieve. Well done Horizon!”
Matthew – Autistic/communication difficulties, age 7
“My son, age 7, has been at Horizon for about 6 months now. He has formed a close bond with his helper and has thrived with the 1:1 help that he gets to enable him to join in with the various sports and activities on offer. He always looks forward to coming and I am sure benefits from the exercise in terms of his muscle strength etc. I hope that he will stay in the club for some time to come and continue to thrive in his progress. As there are no similar clubs locally we feel incredibly fortunate to be able to access this support.”
George and Freddie – High Functioning Autism, age 13 & 11
“As parents of two children with learning difficulties, we have been very impressed with the facilities provided by Horizon Sports Club. Both have enjoyed the Gymnastics classes, gaining personal confidence as well as physical benefit. The team of coaching staff are always attentive to their needs and reinforcing good practice with a caring attitude. It has been wonderful to see the children’s development over the years.”
James – High Functioning Autism, age 11
“My son has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and has been a member of Horizon Sports Club for many years now. He has had the opportunity to take part in a number of different of sports, which have helped him with his physical co-ordination and his social skills. It has also provided him with a peer group with whom he can enjoy physical activities without feeling inferior. The teamwork skills learned in their Horizon football sessions have forged such close bonds, that this group also meets for social activities such as parties, celebrations and meals out.
My son has also had the opportunity to take part in competitive athletics competitions with the Special Olympics, which has not only given him the chance to excel at something and win medals, but also to learn to accept defeat with a measure of good grace!”
Joanne – Down Syndrome/speech and language, age 14
“My daughter has been very fortunate to have attended gym, tennis and now swimming groups with Horizon Sports club. Since she was seven she has been attending a group one evening a week to practise skills and also to socialise with children outside of school. She has struggled with sport in the school setting, having various special needs, so it has been wonderful to see her enjoying sport.
It has also given me a fantastic opportunity to meet families with whom I share something in common and to feel less isolated by the difficulties special needs children inevitably bring. Indeed I have made a couple of lovely friends myself as well. I know without a doubt that if it wasn’t for Horizon both my daughter’s life and mine would not have the quality we enjoy.
Sport offers such benefits to all members of society but for a child like mine it can be non existent. It is inspiring to see what can be achieved”
Sam – Autistic/limited language, age 9
“My husband and I would like it to be known how much we value the service provided by Horizon. Our son is on the autistic spectrum and has dyspraxia. We have attempted to access mainstream sports clubs but there has been a lack of understanding and no one to one help. Horizon has taught our son how to swim which we consider to be an important life skill. He is now attending Horizon Tennis which is helping with the ball skills in which he has always lacked confidence. Horizon has the necessary experience and empathy with these children and the service they give to our son is immeasurable.”