SMILE Through Sport have worked closely with the Stroke Association in the North East for the past two years providing stroke survivors opportunities to find their competitive spirit through introductory sports.
Several stroke groups from Bishop Auckland, Washington, Sunderland, South Shields and Gateshead have accessed our Start to SMILE project, where we provide 8 weeks of sport sessions. Some of the activities that individuals have had the chance to try include athletics, Boccia, cricket, tennis and volleyball. All sessions have been a great success with the members and all have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the sports provided.
Behind the scenes, staff from Stroke Association have attended a Boccia Leaders course, giving them the skills, knowledge and qualification to continue the delivery of Boccia at groups monthly meetings. The Stroke Association have also been awarded a grant to purchase their own Boccia sets and Boccia target mats. This is a fantastic success of the project by initially introducing an organisation to sport and physical activity to now sustaining the activity on their own.
We hope to continue to work with the Stroke Association by offering them support in their new venture as Boccia Leaders, look at new ways of engaging with their members and taking their involvement in sport further.