EN and NW Youth Club Joint Session


Enabling Network (EN) Members participate in joint sports session with NW Youth Club Members – June 2017 on 9th June North West Youth Club invited the Enabling Network team to their weekly Sports Club. One of the EN members (Nishad Gudhka) shares his perspective of the evening:

NW Youth Club provided a brilliant welcome and created an inclusive opportunity by:

  • ADJUSTING their regular schedule to fit in new sports – Polybat and Boccia
  • STRETCHING themselves – table tennis coaches of all ages were on hand to stretch the limits of the guests  –  the coaches also stretched beyond their own comfort zones to work out how to make the seemingly impossible   possible
  • PLAYING with and against us – demonstrating patience without pity, competing without surrendering
  • providing EQUAL importance and passion – the NW Youth coaches gave time and the same importance to Polybat and Boccia as to the regular sports (e.g. football, table tennis, Kho Kho)

The most memorable moment was seeing the excitement and delight on the youth coaches when one EN participant managed to return 2 shots on the table tennis table – they were more excited than us at someone else’s achievement!

Participants recall their experience:

‘I enjoyed playing with all the people from Enabling Network like Nilay, Juhi and Radha. I played table tennis, Polybat and boccia with other members of NW area youth club. I loved meeting and talking a lot to many people. Thank you for inviting me to your youth club and talking to me’.  By Harshi  Nishad Gudhka

I was invited to Reactive 8 on Friday by the EN team. I was greeted by the EN members then I played table tennis for the first time and I really enjoyed it. After that I played poly bat with 2 of the reactive8 members , which was great fun . By Nirav Shah

Juhi loved playing boccia with other children from the youth club. Also polybat was really good as the points were higher than when she had played before. She enjoyed interacting with many children she knew at the youth club.  By Tanuja Shah

I had a fun evening and enjoyed playing with new friends. I hope to continue friendship with them and I look forward to such sessions again. By Radha Dodhia.

‘Everyone was very welcoming and it was heart warming to see the kids playing together, Nilay was happy when some kids said he was good at polybat, but the highlight of his evening was being introduced to table tennis which he thoroughly enjoyed! Thank you for a great sporting evening and we look forward to doing it again.’

NW area youth. Khushi and Milli really stood out as they showed so many qualities when coaching table tennis  and Polybat – patience, perseverance and sheer joy at watching someone do something after 30mins that most find simple…brilliant example of the future! Khushi and Milli go further to write about it

‘The first thing we did when the children arrived was play Polybat, which is like a version of Table Tennis where you push the ball along the surface of the table. It was really interesting for me to try this, as I’m used to playing normal Table Tennis every week. I learnt that for one person, who found it hard to move her hands, I had to be slower and patient. I also got the opportunity to try to teach a younger girl how to do basic things like hitting the ball in normal table tennis (although she completely trashed me at Polybat). This was difficult at first as she found it hard to pay attention, however as we continued to play and she got better, I felt a sense of achievement. Doing this made me feel really good inside as I felt like I was opening new possibilities for her and also just having fun with everyone.

Another game we played was called Boccia, which is similar to Bowls. This game was brilliant for everyone, even people with Electric wheelchairs- as they could use a ramp to roll and aim their ball. It is a team game so we had to communicate and work together to get points. One important thing I learnt from this experience is that no matter what our needs and abilities were, we were all there to enjoy ourselves and to meet new people! Also, patience is key!’

By Khushi Dodhia


At Youth Club, we were all surprised when we were told that we were going to be visited by some disabled members of the Enable Network team. We all quickly rushed to help set up the Polybat court. Whilst we were waiting for the people to arrive, my friend, Khushi and I decided to try out Polybat. I served a table tennis serve, only to realise that I was doing it completely wrong. I quickly learnt that Polybat was played a bit like air hockey and that the ball is not meant to go higher than the boundaries (5 inches).

It was not long until someone arrived. Her name was Radha and although she found the bat hard to play with she still decided to play, just with her hands. She was a great player and was very patient when I kept on missing the ball. I then played with a girl called Harshi. She was a complete natural! She beat me in three games and believe me, it was not close! Harshi, I think you should definitely consider becoming a professional Polybat player.

As a whole, I think my experience playing with members of the enabled network has been a great experience and I greatly recommend it to others wanting to take part. By Milli Shah

From the inquisitiveness of the participation, the ReActive8 youth and coaches truly made it an inclusive session. This encouraged  some of our members  to challenge themselves by playing table tennis. Boccia was the next game to be played. The air buzzing with enthusiasm from both sides as the queues to participate grew with the evening. In fact, some ReActive8 youth glued themselves to the Boccia chairs!

What an achievement!

OAUK EC EN Portfolio Team

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