Children in Jersey with Special Educational Needs (SEN) will benefit from extra opportunities to participate in sport and get active, thanks to £20,000 of funding from the Sir James Knott Trust. The sponsorship means Jersey Sport can provide a specific “Support for Physical Learning” coach in the island, focussing on students who require additional provision for their social, emotional and physical wellbeing.

The sessions are delivered through the principles of martial arts with relaxation techniques, breathing and behaviour management all taught. Some children will benefit from one-to-one coaching while others will take part in small groups, with the sessions taking place during and after school. Former British Kickboxing champion Mick McCue will be taking on the role officially, having already carried out some aspects of the work delivering about 25 sessions a week as part of a wider P.E. and Community Coach role.

“Sport has the power to change lives and it’s so rewarding to see the impact of these sessions in local schools,” said Mr McCue. “Whether the child is autistic, maybe has anger issues or is simply struggling to concentrate in class, martial arts can help them express themselves, enjoy themselves and give them renewed focus on their school work when they return to the classroom.”