Learning disabilities: Children excluded from UK School Games

Children with learning disabilities have been excluded from the UK School Games, which started today in Coventry.

Mencap and the Disability Rights Commissioner, Philippa Russell are actively seeking a removal of the ban and have urged the government to find a solution before next year’s event. 

The Game’s organiser Youth Sport Trust argued that there was no ban in place but as the Games followed the principles of the Olympics and the Paralympics, they did not run specific events exclusively for children with learning disabilities.

Dame Jo Williams, chief executive of Mencap, said: “It is inexcusable that children with a learning disability are being discriminated against because of the Paralympics ruling for adults.” 

She added that Mencap was optimistic that the ban for the Paralympics would be lifted before it is held in London in 2012.

Youth Sport Trust chief executive, Steve Grainger, said that discussions had taken place with Mencap before this year’s UK School Games. 

“The Youth Sport Trust and DCMS have committed to meeting them after this year’s event to discuss the development of a new competitive sport structure for young people including those with a learning disability,” he said.

Over the next three days, 1300 children will compete at five venues in Coventry.  Mencap claims that over 300,000 children with learning disabilities have been excluded.     

More information
Essential information on learning disabilities
A Life Like Any Other campaign
Disability Rights Commission
Youth Sport Trust

Related items
Olympic ban upsets athletes
Paralympic ban “discriminatory,” says Mencap

Contact the author
Caroline Lovell


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