Young patients at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh have gone for gold and taken part in their own mini Olympic Games, opened by Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson.
As part of Play in Hospital week and supported by the Sick Kids Friends Foundation (SKFF), the Hospital Games kicked off on Friday 5th August to coincide with the beginning of the Rio 2016 Olympics, with the Scottish competitive swimmer making a splash at the official opening ceremony.
During the week-long event, all inpatients were given the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of games either in their wards or bedsides, including golf, basketball, gymnastics, weight lifting and athletics, with all activities tailored to the individual needs of each patient.
The Hospital Games will be closed by Commonwealth Gold Medallist Josh Taylor on Friday 12th August, and each child will be gifted with a certificate and a medal provided by SKFF, as well as a sweet treat from a visiting Di Rollo’s ice cream van.
Michael Jamieson, who represented Great Britain in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, said: “The Sick Kids Friends Foundation does great work and I wanted to do something to support this incredibly worthwhile cause, before then heading out to Rio myself on the evening of the opening ceremony.
“This is a fantastic activity organised by SKFF and the ‘Sick Kids’ Hospital, and it was great to see so many of the kids being really enthusiastic about taking part in the sports on offer.
“All the patients and their families are hugely inspiring and I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet them all.”
SKFF supports the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and has committed to contribute £2.9million towards its move to a new, purpose-built home at Little France in 2017.
Ishbel Proctor, NHS Play Services Co-ordinator at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, said: “The Hospital Games were really rewarding and we are very thankful to both Michael and Josh for coming in to attend the opening and closing ceremonies and meet the children.
“As well as being lots of fun, all the activities were designed to accommodate the individual needs of each patient and work towards their recovery in conjunction with the physiotherapists.”
Fiona O’Sullivan, Arts Programme Manager at the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “At SKFF, we exist to ensure children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness and that they have a more positive hospital experience, and the Hospital Olympics is just one of the ways in which we do this.”