September Club of the Month!
No Limits is a name that sums up perfectly the ethos of a Scottish multi-sports club changing the lives of disabled children and young people.
The club was founded by a handful of families all the way back in 1996 to address a lack of opportunities for disabled people to get active in the West Lothian area.
Now they have around 60 members on board, a clutch of awards including a Queen’s Award and have organised more than 50 adventure holidays to Badaguish and Aviemore.
The secret? According to secretary Paul Weddell, prioritising parent and carer buy-in has been the key factor.
“The main reason behind the success of No Limits has been the commitment of the parents,” Paul says.
“Some of them are still here 20 years later, and people who started as children at the club in 1996 are still involved as committee members and organisers.
“That’s something we’ve encouraged and is something we’re very proud of. Unless you have the commitment of the parents to go the extra mile, it’s very difficult.
“No limits is what we’re about - if someone wants to try something, we’ll do our best to help them do it.
“It’s been an amazing part of my life and of so many others. It’s been very rewarding, and since I retired it’s become one of the main drivers in my life.”
No Limits’s main multi-sport session runs on a Saturday mornings at the Xcite Sports Centre in Linlithgow.
Carpet bowls, hockey, new age kurling, badminton and rounders are among the sports they have tried their hand at in the past, and multi-sport sessions are run to try them all.
“The variety of sports gives them opportunities they would never get otherwise,” Paul adds.
“We’ve had parents in tears with emotion because they never expected to see their children do things and experience things they never thought they would. I’ve seen it myself with my own child.”
No Limits had to shut down operations entirely in March but continued to run social sessions on Zoom on Saturday mornings, allowing children to stay in touch.
In the sessions, children share what they’ve been doing during the week, take part in a short fitness session, review films they’ve watched and tell each other jokes.
Paul has been amazed by the response to those sessions and feels it sums up the unique spirit that the club have engendered among participants.
“It’s brilliant that we could use technology to continue to meet,” he said.
“In normal times, we run bingo, race nights and ten pin bowling so it’s a very sociable club.
“The atmosphere on the Zoom sessions was brilliant. It reinforced their identity as a group, I’m absolutely sure it makes them feel better in themselves.
“It’s good for their mental health and their self-confidence.”
Learn more about No Limits and their multi-sport offering HERE.