The Bouldering Project
We have been running this project / courses for a few months, Sports England and Southend City Council have funded 4 induction lessons plus a further 4 sessions for low income families with disabilities. Looking at our current feedback it has produced incredible results in a short space of time. Below is some information on the evidence around this sport and being neurodivergent.
We would like to continue to support these families for the following year 2023.
Our work highlights the real value of early identification and early intervention. STRM recognises that early intervention for children is necessary to give your child the best start in life. Children with disabilities have the ability to change their brain activity, adapt as a result of experience. Neuroplasticity gives the brain the ability to be moulded and shaped. It can develop new mindsets, new memories, new skills and abilities.
This has been evidenced by our SEND Bouldering project.
Why this works!
"Bouldering is an easily accessible sport, which can provide numerous physical and mental health benefits to neurodivergent children.
Reasons that autism and ADHD are over represented within the criminal justice system, and they all inevitably relate to the fact that many are undiagnosed, untreated and they have spent their lives unsupported. Early interventions are the key to enabling children who are predisposed to impulsive and dangerous behaviours, as well as social exclusion, to channel their energies into something more productive.
An activity that covers all of those needs. It is physically demanding, so children who struggle with excess energy have a way to release that through a safe and contained physical activity. It requires that children challenge themselves in order to improve skill levels, but they also learn to support each other to problem solve and provide strategies – this encourages community spirit and investment in each other.
It is important to note that having ADHD or autism does not automatically equate to criminal activity, but a combination of physiological and social contributors can significantly increase the chances of those children appearing in front of you as a suspect or a victim. Below are several resources with specific reference to the benefits of sport, and specifically rock climbing, for children with specific learning disabilities.
Ultimately, we have been given the opportunity to put the proven theory into practice in Southend. The evidence is clear: children who have a specific learning disability like autism or ADHD are more likely to be over-represented in the criminal justice system as either suspect or criminal. The evidence of sport being a successful early intervention tool to help reduce or prevent crime is clear.
Why does it work?
Climbing works their muscles, but it also exercises their mind. Climbing isn’t a thoughtless activity; to develop climbing proficiency you have to engage your prefrontal cortex, focus, planning, problem solving, and hold visual-spatial learning in your working memory. Participating in Bouldering may help to boost your child's self-esteem, improve the social skills and promote physical fitness. It may also help your child improve their decision-making abilities, cognitive function and help them identify their unique strengths."
We can’t thank you enough!
By contributing to our target to raise £9,780, you’ll be making a real difference to a vunerable group that are so often forgotten and unseen.