University of Huddersfield

12/13/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/13/2023 03:31

Student Lochlann’s coaching success in line with progress of disability sport

Student Lochlann's coaching success in line with progress of disability sport

A University of Huddersfield undergraduate has unearthed the often-ignored story of disability sport after World War Two to tie in with his own success at coaching the British intellectual disability hockey team.

Lochlann Kaye guided the Special Olympics GB hockey team to a gold medal at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin in the summer of 2023, an achievement made even more special given it was the first time a British hockey team had participated at the games.

The 21-year-old is in the third year of his history degree, and his extracurricular interests helped him undertake a project that looks at the development of disability sport in the UK. In particular, Lochlann has used the archives from Remploy, the organisation that helped people with disabilities find work in factories beginning after World War Two.

Discover more about studying history at Huddersfield

In 2015 Remploy joined Maximus, one of the biggest providers of employment, health, and disability support programmes in the country.

"As I coach in disability sport, I have had a long interest in learning about how disability sport has developed," says Lochlann, who charted the history of the Standard fireworks company in Huddersfield and its contribution to national celebrations in his second-year project. I'm keen for people to get more opportunities to play sport than they may normally get.

"For this project, I've focussed on local stories of people with Remploy, their sporting achievements, and the competitions that Remploy held.

Helping to give disability sport a greater profile

"It was illuminating to see what it was like for people in disability sport a few decades ago, compared to now where disability sport has a much greater profile. It was surprising, in a nice way, to see that people were competing in big events held by Remploy.

"The last few years has seen much more coverage on disability sport with events like the Paralympics and the Commonwealth Games. It was revealing to discover from my research that there was more access to sport for people with disabilities in the past than I realised, which was a pleasant surprise.

"A lot of things that Remploy did went under the radar, and thanks to Maximus giving me access to the Remploy archives I was able to put a story on Remploy and sport together.

"My tutor, Rob Ellis, has been incredibly helpful, supporting me with where to find extra sources. Some of this is quite niche and he helped find additional sources outside of what Maximus provided me with."

Professor Rob Ellis added, "Lochlann worked as part of second year team uncovering the history of and co-curating an exhibition on the history of Standard Fireworks. His third-year project enables him to build on that knowledge and experience, and also focus on his own research interests.

"Working with Dr Andy Holroyde , a former University of Huddersfield doctoral student who is now Policy and Research Lead at Maximus, has enabled Lochlann to learn more about disability services now and get unrivalled access to primary source materials."

The success of the GB intellectual disability team in Berlin this year also gave Lochlann further impetus in his research, and it was an experience both he and his players relished.

"There was historical significance," he adds, "as it was the first time the Olympic torch had been lit on that site since 1936. That had a real impact on me, and so to win on our Special Olympics debut there made it all the more memorable."

Student Lochlann's coaching success in line with progress of disability sport- News Story

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