On Friday 18th March, the third Waverley Para Games officially opened at the Charterhouse Club in Godalming, with a record number of participants attending.

COINS Foundation co-founded the annual event with the DFN Foundation, which attracted over 145 young SEND students (aged 11-14 years) from schools throughout Surrey.

The opening ceremony featured a short clip produced by Crossform Media, under the theme ‘Make Time for Sport’ before attendees heard from guest speakers, where Jeremy Hunt MP explained the thought process behind the Games.

When I think back to London 2012 I was so inspired by the paralympians – their drive, focus and ambition in overcoming incredible obstacles to reach their elite sporting status. I was determined to try in some way to keep their legacy alive beyond the Games.

Jeremy Hunt, MP

Local Paralympian Rachel Morris and International Para Dressage rider Erin Orford used their experiences to encourage participants to challenge themselves to achieve their maximum potential. With two very different stories, both have had numerous challenges to overcome but their determination and passion for their sport was apparent.

I like to use the phrase 'personal elite.' For some that may be moving their index finger, which they previously were unable to do and for others it may be competing at the Paralympics.

Rachel Morris

Our Chairman and Founder, Larry Sullivan spoke about his admiration for Rachel’s story and the importance of the Games, confirming that COINS Foundation would be supporting it for a further 5 years.

To have so many more children taking part in this year’s Games is wonderful. I am pleased that the event has established itself and grown into such a significant sporting fixture for young people with a special educational need or disability in Surrey. COINS is delighted to support the Games and will continue to do so in the future.

Larry Sullivan

The multi-sport event offered the opportunity for children of various abilities to come together to participate and compete in numerous sports, with our own Stepping Stones school also in attendance. A superb initiative and a great representation of the legacy of London 2012 Paralympics, hopefully participation will continue to grow, alongside similar opportunities.