ActiveAbility Solent, powered by Active Nation, the national sport and exercise charity who are on a mission to persuade the nation to be active, hosted its annual Festive Fun For All Event at The Pavillion on The Park, Eastleigh.

The event saw 40 adults and teenagers with learning disabilities engage in various festive games, challenges and dance off challenges on Wednesday 20th December at The Pavillion in The Park, Eastleigh. 

Activities included Boccia, a precision ball sport, similar to bocce, and related to bowls and pétanque, music and dancing and a visit from Father Christmas who came bearing festive treats for the participants who waited eagerly for him and his elves to arrive. 

ActiveAbility Solent provides year round sport and activity sessions for disabled adults and children within the Southampton, Eastleigh, Winchester and New Forest areas of Hampshire. These financially subsidised sessions allow participants the opportunity to increase their physical activity levels, mental wellbeing scores and social skills in a friendly, organised and safe environment

The Pavilion on the Park opened in 2008 and is managed by Eastleigh Youth & Community Trust, a charity formed by Cllr Godfrey Olson in 1962. The core vision is to bridge the gap between generations and communities within Eastleigh. The trust provides a community centre for local people and businesses to hire, and from this facility they also deliver inclusive activities focused on children, young people, people with disabilities, older people, and families.

The Pavilion plays the perfect host for the weekly inclusive Boccia session, Eastleigh Boccia Club, which is supported by Active Nation and their Special Olympics Solent Network.

The session is a friendly drop-in session for players of all abilities. Boccia is the Paralympic precision ball sport similar to bowls or pétanque. Boccia is a non-contact driven sport, which relies on the skill and subtlety of the player, rather than their size, speed and strength. A ball can be propelled by rolling, throwing or kicking. If a player is unable to throw or kick, they can use a ramp (assistive device). If they are unable to release the ball with their hands, players can use a head pointer.

Claire, a full time carer and new to the sessions at The Pavilion on The Park told us: "The Festive Fun For All Event has been brilliant, specific needs of the participants have clearly been thought about and Active Nation have clearly put a lot of effort into getting as many different organisations to attend as possible - thanks to the Active Communities Team for working so hard to improve the lives of our clients around Hampshire."

ActiveAbility Solent is proud to work with a variety of partners around the region to ovver over 100 different sports and activities across 40 sessions every week. To download the live timetable, click here.

Active Nation is a national charity on a mission to persuade the nation to be active. For more information about who we are and what we do, you can find out more here.