On Thursday 13th Dec Fairfield Farm College in Dilton Marsh hosted the Wiltshire annual Santa/Elf Dash, the college saw 400+ pupils, sports leaders & supporting staff from 23 primary schools, secondary schools, special schools & colleges take part in the event. 

This event was organised by Rachel Bown the Youth Sport Inclusion Lead for Wiltshire, who said “The key to this inspiring event is that all the students are empowered to participate & to enjoy a shared experience. It is truly inclusive.  Very often young people with additional needs choose not to participate in new or challenging activities.  They choose not to work with different people in different environments.  They don’t like wearing different textures or unfamiliar outfits.  They don’t like being in big groups, close to lots of people & above all they very often don’t like mess, yet this event saw all these students participate and enjoy themselves”

All participants were encouraged to wear either a Santa or an Elf suit & to join in with a range of organised activities.  The students took part in the Lapland Challenge where they could run, walk, wheel around a marked course.  On the way they visited ‘snow storm stations’ where the Sports Leaders gently sprayed the students with flour. 

Students could also take part in snowy fun with hoola hoops, bouncing on mini trampettes & playing with parachutes. They particularly enjoyed putting ‘snow’ on the parachutes & creating snow storms in the air!

A Winter Wonderland Sensory area was set up inside with a ‘quieter’ area for students to relax & enjoy Christmas textures, smells & tastes. They were encouraged to work with Sports Leaders in a stimulating, fun environment. 

After everyone had finished ‘dashing’ around they were given a Christmas biscuit (made by the FFC students), a drink & a bespoke event medal. They all left very tired & happy!

The Wiltshire Santa/Elf Dash is noisy, busy, challenging & most definitely messy, & yet every single student participated in their own way. In education we focus on progress & outcomes. What these students achieve at these events can’t always be measured, but it can most definitely be evidenced by their smiles!!