UKRAINIAN refugee children headed out onto the pitch with other youngsters to sharpen their skills at a sports club in Solihull.
Super Sports Camps gave free places to children who had fled the conflict and settled in the area.
During their sessions, held at Solihull School, they were given the chance to have a go at hockey, rugby, football, netball, cricket, tennis, dance/gymnastics and basketball under the guidance of specialist coaches.
Dan Super, director at Super Sports Camps, set up the clubs to give children the chance to make new friends and develop their skills in either one sport, or multiple sports in the same day during the school holidays.
Following the past two summers, where Covid restrictions were in place, Dan said he took this year’s summer holiday club with a new mindset and was determined to give back.
He said: “Most of these children were extremely shy and nervous to begin with, they were mainly strangers to each other, and I doubt many of them really understood where they were being dropped and why on their first morning.
“We then formed buddy groups, mixing individuals of different ages, with English children of similar ages that were booked for long camp periods.
“As the friendships grew so did the confidence emitted, by the Ukrainian children in particular.
“Their English has greatly improved too, they take great delight in trying out new words and phrases in English to anyone who will listen now, and they’ve been able to try sports they had never played before whilst also developing skills in the sports that they already played.”
Dan, who has represented Team GB as a long distance triathlete, said some Ukrainians were given one-to-one coaching as they wanted to try something new and joined in when youngsters felt comfortable and confident.
He added: “The entire coaching team have been fantastic supporting this initiative in a professional and caring manner, I’ve been incredibly proud of each and every one of them this summer.”
Dan said he has been in talks with Solihull Young Carers, which supports youngsters in the borough who look after a loved one, about working with them on a project to provide placements to the young carers that they support over future camps.
He added: “If anyone is involved with a project or charity in the community and would like to discuss potential partnerships we are happy to consider any needs.”