Walking into The Learning Zone, Bradford, it is clear to see that HFT has worked incredibly hard to make the venue an inspirational place for its clients.
Positivity permeates The Learning Zone – from the creative art projects on the walls to the committed members of staff who are there to support and guide.
The Learning Zone was set up by HFT to offer people with learning disabilities a place to go, be creative, learn and get active with the support they need.
We were welcomed by Lewis and ushered into a fantastic gym area, featuring an inspirational design on the wall which read ‘No Limits’. After meeting the players it was clear to us that they indeed had no limits and believed in themselves as much as the fantastic support workers believed in them.
After Introductions were made and the T-shirts had been handed out, it was time to get active!
The Tagtiv8 session started with a warm-up, which consisted of lots of jumping, jogging and moving in interesting ways. The tags, which are produced by E4 Printing – the company HFT support – certainly aroused the curiosity of the learners.
Once heart rates had begun to increase and everyone was feeling a bit warmer, the players were split into teams according to their T-shirt colour and the games began.
First, we started with some of our Active Maths games. Players had to move like different animals in order to collect their tags. Moving like a hippo was one of the harder suggestions, however, all the players got straight into it. Everyone loved moving like different animals and making the different sounds – that is, if you could hear the animal sounds over the laughter.
After all the tags were collected, it was time for the thinking element. The tags had to be ordered from lowest to highest and the competitiveness of the players really started to show. When it was time to play with the word set, everyone’s game faces were on and the players were clearly ‘playing to win’.
The Active English games involved the teams running after each other, trying to capture the other team’s tags. The players then had to spell words with the letters. The enthusiasm, competitiveness, and above all, laugher in the gym was truly infectious.
After several rounds of games, we eventually found a winner – the White Team won as they had collected the most tags. However, all competitiveness disappeared after the games ended as everyone chilled and discusses what they thought about the session.
Chatting after the games, Lewis, who was on the Green Team and incredibly fast at running stated that he had “enjoyed doing something new and had fun running around and solving the puzzles.” He ”totally would like to do it again!”
We were impressed to learn that some Team GB Paralympians attend The Learning Zone and listening to the fantastic support workers talk about the range of physical activities they offer at the center, really brought home why all the players were so enthusiastic and embodied the ‘no limits’ ethos.
We were genuinely blown away and humbled by both the learners and staff at the Learning Zone. A truly magical active afternoon!
Thanks to HFT for welcoming us and Tom Armstrong for arranging the session. Tom was keen to explain, “We are adding a new element to E4 by asking our customer partners who use our services to put on events for the people who attend and make it a success. We helped Tagtiv8 launch the system with schools and it was great for Bryn to arrange the session and show how the games work. Everyone had a great time.”