Practitioners upskilled at Autism Awareness training

5th March 2013

The Guernsey Sports Commission hosted their first Autism awareness training yesterday at Beau Sejour Leisure Centre for a range of different groups within the community. Over 70 coaches from a range of different sports attended, which included netball, judo, racketball, sailing, fencing, cricket, riding for the disabled and football. The workshop also attracted a number of representatives from a number of pre-schools on the island who were looking to learn more about the developmental disability in more detail.

The session was organised by the Guernsey Community Foundation and the Guernsey Sports Commission, and was delivered by Catherine Hall of the National Autistic Society Guernsey Branch.

It taught volunteers more about autism and how they can better understand and respond to the needs of children on the autism spectrum. 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.  Within a sporting and coaching context, children may experience difficulties with communication, following instructions, fine and gross motor skills, flexibility and adaptability and sensory processing.

The two-hour workshop explored practical tips and strategies that will help volunteers and coaches to support children with autism and make sporting activities more accessible and inclusive.

Coaches comments included “I really enjoyed the autism talk,  I am so glad I went and it has certainly opened my eyes and to have a insight into the world of autistic children”. Other comments included “I made about 13 bullett points for which would be very usefull to use in my sessions one point was made that a change of routine would be effect a autistic child”. One coach highlighted that “That was a great talk – very informative and who better placed to lecture than the mothers of children with Autism and ADHD.  I was very impressed with all 3 of the speakers”.

Due to demand we are looking to run a similar information workshop in the near future. Register your interest by emailing the Sports Commission on

Further links to learn about Autism

Activity leaders & sports instructors: a guide to Autism

Early Years and Autism