A sports group has been working tirelessly to ensure that young people with physical disabilities have been kept occupied during Covid-19.
Dundee Dragons Wheelchair Sports Club uses wheelchair sport as a tool to
help transform the lives of young people with a physical disability across Tayside.
They have continued to work tirelessly during the past nine months to keep the club running and young people involved.
Elizabeth Ferris, founder and chairwoman of Dundee Dragons said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dundee Dragons’ programmes have continued providing either virtual or face to face physical activity and personal development sessions which have been vital for young people’s wellbeing during the crisis.
“Dundee Dragons’ responsibility to the young people it works with means that keeping the organisation sustainable during uncertain times was a huge priority.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that becoming a Dragon has been life-changing for some of our members.
“I can think of multiple players who openly testify of the benefits the club brings to not only their physical but mental health.”
One young dragon is 19-year-old Rhys Colliar, who first started going to Dundee Dragons when he was 14.
In the last few years, Rhys said he had developed both personally and as an athlete and has become a very talented wheelchair basketball player.
He is now at a stage where he shares his wealth of knowledge and experience with younger athletes and assists with coaching on a regular basis.
Rhys said that before joining Dundee Dragons, he was extremely unhappy and isolated from his peers.
He said: “Dundee Dragons has been of huge support to me and helped grow my confidence and self-esteem.
“Dundee Dragons has changed everything for me. The club has given me so many new opportunities. I have met lots of new people, developed my skills and am a much more confident person thanks to the Dragons.”
Since it was established seven years ago, the club has grown rapidly in response to an urgent need for active wheelchair sports provision in the area.
The organisation works in partnership with schools and other organisations to provide sporting opportunities for young people across Tayside, Fife and Perthshire.
Dundee Dragons is a member of Sported, the UK’s largest network of community groups supporting 500,000 young people.
Nicola Walker, chief executive of Sported, added: “Dundee Dragons is a wonderful example of the way in which sport can be used to engage young people and provide them with routes to more positive futures.
“There are countless numbers of similar stories across the UK which reflect the critical role sport plays in the lives of young people. Our work at Sported is to ensure that groups like Dundee Dragons can grow their support for young people during these difficult times.”