The Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority’s (GSLA) Summer Sport and Leisure Programme has become a fixture in Gibraltar’s summer calendar, and one that is enjoyed by a great number of children in Gibraltar.

Within this, the Stay and Play Summer Sports has always been very popular and has been well attended by children with additional needs during their summer holidays for a number of years. It provides a wonderful opportunity for children to enjoy activities and form friendships.

The Stay and Play programme offers fun and exciting activities, and has seen a steady increase in the number of participants, who require a more specialist type of support over the last few years. This year, the Care Agency is proud to assist this excellent service by providing qualified care workers to compliment the GSLA leaders, in order to meet the complex needs of some of the children attending.

The Stay and Play Summer Sports programme is an inclusive one that ensures children, regardless of their needs, are able to access sports and leisure activities. No child should miss out on opportunities, which are available to the wider community, and the GSLA, together with the Care Agency, have worked together to ensure that all children who wish to attend, can indeed participate. Both organisations have an excellent working relationship, having previously worked together in the safeguarding of children. The natural follow-up has been to continue this partnership in the inclusion of children in the GSLA’s summer programme. The programme includes a diverse range of sport, recreational, leisure, arts and learning opportunities, led by a committed team of leaders, trained workers and volunteers. It is a fantastic programme that offers learning, enjoyment, social interaction and fun.

Reagan Lima, CEO of the GSLA, said: “This working partnership provides greater support and learning opportunities to both the participants and leaders, providing an essential service to those who need it the most. The GSLA welcome the invaluable support from the Care Agency and looks forward to working together into the future.”

Minister for Culture, Media, Youth and Sport, the Honourable Steven Linares MP spoke of the progression of the programme: “It is great to see how the Stay and Play Programme has progressed. The investment we made at the purpose built centre at the Boat House has certainly paid off. I would like to thank those who helped in making the programme work, but especially the staff of the GSLA who started this in the first place years ago.”

Natalie Tavares, CEO (ag) of the Care Agency, commented: “ensuring children are able to access services and activities is paramount to the Care Agency and, as such, we work at a multi-agency level with all relevant disciplines to achieve this. The Care Agency acknowledges the great work GSLA does in this field and are proud to be co-operating with them on this.”

Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP, added: “I am delighted that the Care Agency is working together with the GSLA in this hugely beneficial programme, and happy to see that more children have been able to access these wonderful activities as a result. I would like to thank Natalie Tavares and our friends at the GSLA, especially Reagan Lima, for their work in this fantastic programme.