'They absolutely love it': The new sports facility built for pupils with additional learning needs

A specially adapted ball court has been built in Neath for school pupils who have additional learning needs to enjoy.

Students from Ysgol Hendrefelin and Ysgol Maes y Coed are able to get involved in a range of sports from wheelchair racing to trampolining.

Both schools provide education for children with complex needs.

Cruyff Court was part funded by the Johan Cruyff Foundation - a charity which was set up by the Dutch footballer to ensure children of all abilities had access to sport.

One pupil explained: "I like playing with my friend Leighton, we play a lot of football here and I like kicking about."

Another added that the new outdoor space was "colourful" and had "nice turf" to play on.

New features include rebound fencing, ground trampolines, basketball hoops and a wheelchair slalom.

It comes after the schools original grass fields became too water logged for use and could only be used three months of the year.

The new court is now utilised in all weathers during break times and PE lessons.

Headteacher at Ysgol Maes y Coed, Helen Glover, said it's already been a success: "During the opening ceremony, everybody was singing his praises and we had a representative from the Cruyff Foundation who went through the 14 rules that the Cruyff Foundation stand by for all of their courts - playing together, helping one another, they absolutely love it.

"We're so grateful for everybody who got onboard to provide us with this amazing Cruyff Court."

The Johan Cruyff Foundation was set up by the famous Dutch footballer to ensure children of all abilities had access to sport.

Dean Draper, a teacher at Ysgol Hendrefelin, said he has already seen an improvement in the pupils and their behaviour.

"Before this facility, we used to have quite a few incidents regarding behaviour, because of the difference in needs on the year. Now with this facility, and just increasing space, it has helped improve behaviour dramatically."

Other grants for the new development included £70,000 from Sport Wales and the Welsh Government, £30,000 from Neath Port Talbot Council's Capital Programme and a further £70,000 after the council successfully applied to the Cruyff Foundation in Amsterdam.

Admiral Insurance also provided £6,800 for 10 sports wheelchairs, enabling children using the court to play competitive wheelchair basketball and other sports.

Cruyff Court features an all-weather playing surface, rebound fencing, a colour scheme, ground trampolines, basketball hoops and a wheelchair slalom.