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Over the years Project Adapted has been running there have been several major breakthrough points.

The first breakthrough

In 1984, after the awareness raised by the International Year for The Disabled (1981), the project acquired an initial grant of £1000 from the Nottinghamshire County Council Award system to:

  • produce multiple models of the games, for free distribution around the Nottinghamshire special schools and day centres for the learning disabled
  • to use the funds for the development of more similar prototype games.

This grant proved to be a major boost, as multiple sets of Polybat games, ramp bowls and gym jigsaws were produced in local training centres and then supplied to the respective schools and centres in the county.

To assist in the professional development of the staff with this equipment, an illustrated booklet* was also produced and was subsequently also sold nationally. If you are interested in purchasing this book please contact us.

* Practical Innovations for Nine adapted Activities, Games and Sports, Vol 1. Nottingham Trent University (Smith, R and Williamson, D.C. 1992).

The second breakthrough: SportSability

SportSability 1

In 1997 the Youth Sport Trust, UK provided the ultimate opportunity for Project Adapted by including some of the games in their SportSability 1 bag.

Included in the set were:

  • plastic sides clips
  • bats, balls and grip strapping
  • coaching resource cards
  • guidance notes for teachers.

The main aim of the games included in SportSability 1 - Boccia, Table Cricket, Table Hockey and Goalball - was to provide meaningful opportunities for young people, particularly those with high support needs who may have been excluded from games programmes.


An exciting two-year period followed in which the wooden prototype games of Polybat and Table Cricket evolved into the plastic prototypes and then into full production.

The funding for this came from the Camelot Lottery charity and as a result 1500 kits were produced - enough for one in every Special School in England.

SportSability 2

Following the success of SportSability 1, a second phase was initiated by the YST. The new games from Project Adapted, Target Cricket, Zone Hockey, Floor Lacrosse and Star Bean Bags were added to the other YST items of Tee Ball, and Throlf.

Zone Hockey proved to be the main success and a strong working partnership was established with England Hockey.

The third breakthrough

Parallel partnerships were also developed with the respective national governing sport bodies to have the following games adopted as inclusive versions within their own specific equity sports programmes:

The positive manner in which ETTA and ECB responded was admirable:

  • Polybat is now incorporated in the ETTA development programme and has its own award scheme
  • Table Cricket has the annual national competition (after the eight regional qualifying events) at the Lords’ Cricket Ground, hosted by the ECB and sponsored by the Lord's Taverners charity.

View a diagram illustrating the development of Polybat, Table Cricket and Zone Hockey with their relevant governing bodies.

Further information on the development of the games.

Still need help?

Doug Williamson
+44 (0)1949 829 313