Gateway Games Oct '23

Supported by New Forest Rotary the Annual Gateway Games at Brockenhurst College attracted over 40 competitors with learning difficulties. Eastleigh won with New Milton 'M Chicks' winning the annual Rotary trophy for team spirit.


October '23 saw the return of a much-anticipated sports event for the young adult members of local Gateway Clubs. The clubs are part of Mencap and provider a range of activities. This annual inter sports competition was held in the sports hall of Brockenhurst College and organised by Brockenhurst Gateway Club. Pre-Covid  teams arrived from as far away as Andover. This year there were 40 plus competitors from New Milton to Eastleigh. The sports activities were ably organised by Ryan Stevens, assistant team leader from Brockenhurst Gateway and volunteers acting as referees including those from both New Forest and Lymington Rotary Clubs. The sports included the enthusiastic use of badminton rackets and tennis balls for egg and spoons, in and out of hoops, plastic hockey sticks, bean bags, benches, badminton, football and cricket games. All guaranteed to produce much physical activity and a lot of vov who wal participation. All teams, The Miltonians, M Chicks, Eastleigh Multi Sports, Brock Badgers, Super Brock, VIP Waterside and the Waterside Crazy Lovers all gave their best and competition between was fierce and lots of voval encouragement within each team. All competitors received their medals with much applause. The overall winners were Eastleigh Multi Sports who w very focused on the sports and were awarded the main challenge trophy. The other winning team was the M Chicks, a lady's team from New Milton. Every year New Forest Rotary suport the event financially and witha special trophy being awarded to the team which showed the best team spirit, with the emphasis on support of individuals by all team members irrespective of their sporting capacity.

These ladies don't just show amazing spirit within the team. Melanie, despite challenges has recently raised  over £700, by abseilling down the Spinnaker Tower, towards a whole club outing to Paulton's Park. But with the entrance fee of £40 New Milton Gateway still need further donations.

Stoke Manderville Hospital is now recognised as the world's centre for the Para-Olypic Games but it is in events like the Brockenhurst Gateway Games that local communities come together. All competitors, their supporters and the referees had a great day full of loud enthusiasm, fum, excitement, passion and empathy.

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