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Skaters of all ages, backgrounds and abilities were treated to a special visit from two-time Paralympic champion and Dancing on Ice star Libby Clegg at a memorable Inclusive Skating event in Glasgow.
As part of Parasport’s Tokyo 2020 Games-time activation, inclusive taster sessions were hosted at Parasport clubs around the country to celebrate disability sport through participation and focus on wellbeing following the challenges created by Covid.
Glasgow resident Margarita Sweeney-Baird, 61, founded Inclusive Skating in 2010 in a bid to make the sport as accessible and inclusive as possible.
Sweeney-Baird revelled in Clegg, who won T11 100m and 200m gold at Rio 2016 and also scooped silver in Tokyo, running the session and said: “The best thing about these events like this is everyone is included.
“We include the parents in all our activities, so lots of our parents and carers are also involved in the skating, coaching and the volunteering.
“Libby is an absolute star – she’s such a lovely skater and skated so beautifully with Mark Hanretty on Dancing on Ice, who is also one of our ambassadors for Inclusive Skating!”
Both beginners and experienced skaters were invited to The Time Capsule Ice Rink in Coatbridge – based just outside of Glasgow – to participate in the unforgettable taster session.
And sprinter Clegg, 31, added: “I love events like this, and I think what makes them unique is that sense of belonging.
“There’s no judgment, it’s fun, everyone’s here to enjoy themselves, and you make some friends along the way or find a new sport that you love doing.
“Trying new sports throughout your life is essential – I did athletics for 22 years without really doing any other sports.
“It’s great to have a bit of variety – I’m trying to find new sports and I absolutely love ice skating.
It's 100 Days until the Winter Paralympics kick off in Beijing 🙌
To get you in the mood, check out our most recent #TrainWith event at Edinburgh. People of all ages gathered for an afternoon of inclusive curling 🥌
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“I’m looking at trying new stuff myself, so it’s great to challenge yourself in new ways and meet different people.”
Two of those participating in the session were brother and sister Lucy Baxter, 22, and Grant Baxter, 25, who have both attended Inclusive Skating sessions for four years.
Lucy, a student and a young carer, loves the fact the club offers them the chance to do something together and said: “A lot of clubs Grant will do on his own, and I’ll do separately, but this is a great chance that allows us to do it as a family.
“My mum and dad like to get involved, they help us with our routines and they support us through it all.
“There’s a buzz about Grant now; he loves the skating, he always loved sport, but there’s always been some form of restriction just because of his disability, but Inclusive Skating have made the sport so adaptable.”
Parasport powered by Toyota have been hosting inclusive taster sessions at Parasport clubs around the country, to highlight their stories and celebrate their members and volunteers contribution to inclusive sport in the community. For more information please visit www.parasport.org.uk