Around 100 residents from Sanctuary Carr-Gomm homes for adults with learning and physical disabilities showed off their sporting prowess and enjoyed fun and games at their own version of the Olympics.
Each representing a country, 10 homes from the south region began the event with a spectacular opening parade at the Army’s Prince Philip Barracks in Bordon,Hampshire where the event was held last Thursday.
Residents, in a dazzling display of colour, presented information about their countries in front of a panel of judges, before taking part in a range of games for the disabled and able bodied including bean bag shot putting, foam javelin and basketball.
Staff and residents spent months carefully researching their individual countries, including history, culture, religion, food and dress. Each home was judged on the sporting prowess of its residents and staff and the effort that they put into their research and traditional costumes.
The winning home was Victoria Square in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, which represented Latvia and also scooped first place in last year’s competition. This was closely followed by Shaftesbury Place in Cheltenham, which represented Oman and Tony Long House in Swindon, which represented Uganda.
Lesley Senior, manager of Victoria Square – a home for adults with learning disabilities said: “Our residents really, really enjoyed the day – they loved it – in particular the relays. The expression on their faces was amazing. They were absolutely worn out when they got home but they loved it and of course were thrilled to win the cup again this year. They put so much effort into it and really deserved it.
“I think days like this are so beneficial because they create a great team spirit and residents get to spend time with people from other schemes.”
Victoria Square resident Lisa Baird added: “I really, really enjoyed the day. Basketball was my favourite game and I enjoyed dressing up too. Meeting new people was also good.”
The event was organised by SHIRE – Sanctuary Helping Involve Residents Equally. The group is made up of residents, carers and other staff and is dedicated to giving a voice to residents with learning and physical disabilities.
Sanctuary Carr-Gomm service manager Pat Ranson, who organised the entire event said: “I was overwhelmed by the effort that was put into the research this year – the standard was even higher than last year.
“I think it was a very memorable day and the enthusiasm this year has been amazing. The residents form close friendships and don’t really mind who wins the trophies, they just really support each other.
“We really appreciate the SEME Garrison in Bordon for supporting us by providing the venue and helping us set up on the day.”
Part of leading UK housing provider Sanctuary Group, Sanctuary Carr-Gomm provides accommodation and support to over 6,500 disadvantaged or vulnerable people nationwide.