"I am interacting with my son in a way I didn't think was possible."
"My son is now involved in mainstream sport, but still looks forward to On the Ball on Saturdays."
"At first I was scared, now I want to go back and score a goal next week."
Child and Parent feedback - 'On the Ball'
"Outstanding Training" - Richmond Adult Community College
School introductory sessions: 2023 programme will be set by January.
To register interest for a school in person meeting or an on-line workshops use the contact link
'On the Ball' is a programme of active learning for parents of children aged 5+ living in SW London. Teachers and support staff are welcome to attend. We use sport to help whole families learn about communication and sensory needs through our innovative course, designed and run by Action-attainment with our delivery partner, Brentford FC CST. We run On the Ball at Palewell Park and Richmond Park Academy, East Sheen. Until 2019, and the Covid pandemic, On the Ball was also held at Marlborough School, Isleworth as an after-school club. We can help families to set up at schools, use our contact form, to register your interest.
In 2022 we were hosted to meet parents, in person, at Lowther and Barnes Primary Schools to talk about neurodiversity. The On the Ball programme starts formally with a workshop for adults that explains how communication and sensory needs impact learning and inclusion for children. It also identifies strategies - from visual time-tables to sensory breaks - that can be used to support learning and help children join in activities at home and school.
Sign-up for our 2023 introductory workshops using our Contact Form:
After the workshop the families who are interested in joining us are asked to complete an Activity Questionnaire (see above). This is shared with A-a's Occupational Therapist who is a specialist with an understanding of Sensory Integration. Our aim is to find small groups of peers who are at a similar age and stage of development. Our OT sees candidates to help us find groups of 5-6 similar children who we think will enjoy up to 9 weeks of sport together.
Parents and children experience the benefits of visual and sensory strategies to support inclusion. Having fun together reduces anxieties. The children experience that sport can be enjoyable. Their parents identify how even a simple strategy, like a visual timetable, can not only help children join a sport programme but can also be used at home in the mornings to identify tasks, lower tension and get children to school on time.
Over the full programme parents receive support and sign-posting from Action-attainment to additional services. Parents also start to meet and share information with the other families.
Our first in person parent workshops will be hosted by schools and will be open to any family, teacher or support worker, wanting to know more about how sensory and communication needs impact children's learning and inclusion. We schedule a final wrap up workshop designed to explore questions posed by families who have participated in the active learning with their children. This final workshop includes information on anxiety and ways to support children's inclusion.
Families who start out with On the Ball can then try our half term and Summer multi-sport programme, Fun in the Sun. This introduces small groups to tennis, golf and, aged 8+ to watersports - kayaking and paddleboards.
After the introductory sessions many families sign up to become participants in regular weekly sessions run by the same Brentford FC CST coaches with support from Action-attainment staff. Parents join other activities with Action-attainment, from Action Learning (problem solving peer groups) to our Parent Detective workshops. Families also join Knots Arts, a drama group to build communication skills that runs in East Sheen, explore Marble Hill Adventure Playground and discover other community-based activities.
On the Ball, family sessions are available free of charge to families due to the generous funding from Three Guineas Trust. Action-attainment CIC is a not-for-profit community interest company relying on fundraising and family contributions to maintain our services. On-line workshops carry a suggested contribution of £16. Concessions available on all activities and can be requested using our contact form.
To find out more about On the Ball or enquire about places or concessions for 2023