Daniel muscles in on exercise

Daniel Jones at his rebound therapy session
Daniel Jones at his rebound therapy session

YOUNG people with autism in Wigan can now benefit from an innovative new sports therapy.

Rebound therapy uses gentle trampolining to allow young people with autism to build muscle tone and strengthen their core stability.

The sessions are run by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s Sports Development Unit every Thursday from 4.30pm-6.30pm for six week blocks at Leigh Indoor Sports Centre.

Adam Blezard, from the Sports Development Unit, said: “Studies have shown that rebound therapy can have a real effect on young people with autism and this new course is already getting some great recognition in Wigan Borough.

“Trampolining to music is a brilliant way for the young people to not only relax but also build up their muscle strength.

“As with all our disability sports sessions, there may be the opportunity for the young people involved to be eventually signposted on to mainstream sports clubs once they have completed the rebound therapy course.”

The sessions are already throwing up some impressive results for the families who have accessed this new therapy.

Seven year-old Daniel Jones who attends Hope School has been taking part in the rebound therapy sessions.

His mum Lynne said: “Daniel has poor muscle tone so this is really helping to strengthen him.

“It is normally hard to get him to exercise but he has really taken to rebound therapy.

“Since he has started he can actually walk upstairs whereas before we always had to use a stair lift for him.”

Wigan Council have commissioned Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s Sport Development Unit to run the rebound therapy.

A further £2,000 was also provided to help purchase an extra trampoline by the council’s Short Breaks Team, who provide short breaks for young people with disabilities and their carers.

The sessions are open to young people with autism aged five-19 (currently this doesn’t include wheelchair users or people requiring use of a hoist). All Sports Development Unit staff are fully qualified to run the sessions and have received specialised training.

WLCT’s Sports Development Unit also run further sports sessions for young people with a range of disabilities including multi-sports sessions, dance and cheerleading and a wheels for all group using specially adapted bikes.

To book on the next six week rebound therapy course, or to find out more about opportunities in disability sports the call Sports Development Unit on 01942 404982 or email sdu@wlct.org.