Students from Workington Academy had their very own Uppies & Downies game last week but with a very special difference. The Academy was the first school to welcome a specially made ball to commemorate National Autism Awareness Week. The ball, owned by a local family is travelling around schools in Workington in a bid to share the history of the local game and to increase awareness of Autism.
Workington Academy has a specific department dedicated to supporting young people with learning difficulties, many of whom took part in the ball welcoming and a mini Uppies and Downies game.
Lesley Robertson, Learning Support Coordinator said: we were delighted to be asked to receive the ball and our students were excited to be involved in Workington’s historical game. We work very hard to ensure that all students here at the Academy have the same opportunities regardless of their ability. We work closely with students living with Autism, giving them the best life chances possible. Increasing awareness of Autism through Uppies and Downies is a fantastic idea’.
Academy tutor Mr Bob Dalgish and his family, have been involved in the Uppies and Downies game since the 1950’s, often being responsible for the ‘throw off for play’. Mr Dalgish spent time with the students talking about the game’s origin and brought the original ball used in 1957 for students to hold and compare to the Autism Awareness ball.
The ball was passed to Danny Carter of Victoria Junior School by Workington Academy student James Richardson. Its next stop will be Beckstone Primary School in Harrington.