Investment to get more disabled people playing sport
Disability sport has received a boost after Sport England invested £2.8 million to help increase the number of disabled people playing sport and make grassroots sport more inclusive.
For the first time Sport England will be directly funding six disability sports organisations, investing £1.3 million of National Lottery funding, to advise, support and guide other sports bodies as they create opportunities for participation by disabled people.
The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) has also received £1.5 million of Exchequer funding to accelerate its strategy to increase sports participation by disabled people.
"Our goal is to get many more disabled people playing sport and we can only achieve this through a changed approach - one where sports bodies integrate the sport on offer to disabled and non-disabled people as far as possible," said Richard Lewis, Sport England's Chair. "The investment we're announcing today will ensure that those on the frontline of grassroots sport have easy access to the expertise they need to make this happen."
"The investment recognises the incredible passion and expertise which underpins the disability sports organisations," said Dame Tanni Grey Thompson, EFDS Chair. "Together, we will be able to help those involved in delivering sport to engage more disabled people so that they can gain the very real and often life changing benefits which sport can bring.
"The timing could not be better to make sure disabled people will get the chance to benefit directly from the 2012 Paralympics and beyond. I know from my own experience that disabled people can benefit tremendously from sport and physical activity if the conditions are put in place to make sport genuinely inclusive. I am confident that EFDS and the National Disability Sports Organisations will work in partnership with Sport England to deliver an impressive return on this investment."
To improve the way expertise on disability sport is shared, EFDS will now act as a single point of contact for national governing bodies of sport and other sporting groups. EFDS will pull in impairment-specific information, support and advice from the other six disability organisations and help ensure a consistent approach.
The six disability sports organisations to benefit from the investment are:
- British Blind Sport
- Cerebral Palsy Sport
- Dwarf Sport Association UK
- Mencap Sport/Special Olympics GB
- British Wheelchair Sport
- UK Deaf Sport