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Young People Celebrate by Dancing at the RE-opening of the Ryland Youth Centre

Young People Celebrate by Dancing at the RE-opening of the Ryland Youth Centre

The Ryland Youth Centre in Bromsgrove celebrated its one million pound refurbishment with a grand re-opening celebration this September. As part of this celebration, it has joined forces with fitnessgaming (www.fitnessgaming.co.uk), who supplied its latest dance mat technology to enhance the range of physical activities that Ryland Centre offers its 13-19 year-olds. Along with the dancing mats and software, fitnessgaming delivered its specialist handheld dance units and dance mats with integral support frames which are designed to enable physically disabled young people to take part alongside their able-bodied peers.

These new systems will increase the amount of sporting activities available to young people as well as offering physically disabled children a series of activities designed to engage and excite them. As part of the grand re-opening, 150 wheelchair users attended the celebration and took part in a dance contest utilising the HandDance Pro from fitnessgaming.

Funding for the refurbishment was received from Sport England, Worcestershire County Council and the Aiming High for Disabled Children (AHDC) programme. AHDC is dedicated to improving services across the board for disabled children and their families, and its part of the funding was ring fenced for the addition of lifts and ramps to improve access for disabled young people.

The Ryland Youth Centre first opened in 1946 and is run by the Worcestershire County Council. It is dedicated to providing young people between the ages of 13 and 19 with a range of positive activities including football, basketball, squash and athletics as well as more traditional activities including cooking for healthy eating and supporting young people's pursuit of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Scott Paxton, a Youth Sports Development Worker at the Ryland Youth Centre, commented: "We are extremely pleased with the refurbishment of the centre and the addition of the lifts and ramps will help make our centre truly inclusive. By making the centre more accessible we were looking to broaden our range of sporting activities for both our SEN and able bodied young people and the fitnessgaming dance systems provide an ideal solution. The systems' flexibility means that all young people can take part and compete against one another on a level playing field. We first introduced the Dancetown dance mats during the grand re-opening and almost all of our young people were keen to take part and have a go.

"We wanted to expand the number of activities we offered so while the centre was being refurbished, we looked at a number of dance system alternatives. The Just for Schools systems from fitnessgaming offered the most versatile software and best price while being the most accommodating and user-friendly for our young people."

Duncan Black, Director at fitnessgaming, added: "Encouraging young people to take part in sport and other physical activities is vital to their long term health and well being. Organisations such as the Ryland Centre that are committed to offering a wide range of sporting options are key to young people's physical and social development. Some children do not enjoy traditional sports such as football or basketball but will jump at the opportunity to try out the dance mats. By adding the fitnessgaming dance mat systems to their series of activities they are giving all of the young people who attend the centre a healthy alternative."

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