Leighton Linslade turning into a centre of excellence for inclusive sports through Yes We Can programme

Rotary celebrating four years of fantastic achievements

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 5:30 pm

Leighton-Linslade Rotary’s Yes We Can programme has just turned four years old and is rapidly turning Leighton Linslade into a centre of excellence for inclusive sports.

Picking up the baton in October 2017 when the town only had the Otters Swimming Club, Rotary has worked to develop a number of other sports which now include thriving football, hockey and tennis sections, plus the most recent addition of sailing.

The Rotary team identify outstanding delivery organisations and committed and quality sponsors and coordinate the sports under the Yes We Can umbrella, creating a family approach to the objective of accessible, affordable and sustainable sporting opportunities for those with a disability.

Yes We Can

The programme now attracts in excess of 70 regular participants and impacts families and carers across South West Bedfordshire and beyond. Rotary says there have been fantastic achievements already in the programme's short history with the footballers winning the Berks/ Bucks Conference Cup and growing to 30-plus registered participants, tennis growing in the pandemic thanks to one-to-one training by the dedicated coach, and hockey also growing significantly and creating a real buzz at Sunday training sessions.

Sailing has now also joined the family and created its own memories in its first season on the water, and of course there is always the summer multi-sports days.

Richard Johnson, chairman of the Rotary programme team said: "The unique approach Rotary has taken to delivery while making everyone feel part of the Yes We Can family is what makes this such an exciting programme to be part of.

"The programme is pleased that it has not drawn on unitary authority or Central Government funds but we are proud that we have been able to bring so many quality organisations together for the benefit of people who really need our support. Everyone looks forward to continuing this exciting journey, nothing quite unites or excites like sport."

Yes We Can

Mr Johnson said he would like record Rotary's gratitude to the following: MK Dons SET & FAI Auto Parts (football); Leighton Buzzard Hockey Club & OMM Solicitors (hockey); Sara Bamford, Linslade Tennis Club & Leighton Linslade Town Council (tennis); MK Sailability & Geomatrix Earth Science (sailing).

Simon Marshall, Rotary branch president, said: "As a Rotary Club we couldn’t be prouder of this unique programme and the impact it is having on our community. The participants who are impacted by Yes We Can and indeed their families and carers now have the opportunity to take part in sport in a way many of us take for granted.

"We are also proud to have been able to bring so many quality organisations together under the Yes We Can umbrella, however additional thanks must go to the people of Leighton Linslade for their continuing and unstinting support, as we look to truly create that centre of excellence that all the participants deserve."

For further information on the Rotary Yes We Can programme contact Sandra at [email protected] or via Yes We Can Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Yes-We-Can-482600122513050.

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