Sport England helps disabled people access sport

Wed,3 December 2014

To mark International Persons with Disabilities Day yesterday, Sport England has today announced a new partnership with Disability Rights UK (DRUK) to increase the number of disabled people playing sport by using their personal budgets to access sporting opportunities

Sport England has awarded Disability Rights UK £791,171 of National Lottery funding to conduct a pilot of the scheme in conjunction with Cheshire, Leicester City and Norfolk Disabled People User Led Organisations (DPULOs) to develop a model to grow the number of disabled being active and playing sport, through working with health and social care professionals and sports providers. The project will focus on understanding the value and benefits of signing-off personal budgets for the individuals wanting to use their funds for sport and physical activity.

The project will include a number of key stakeholders ranging from local government, health organisations, and sporting organisations, including Sport England and national governing bodies. Locally, the project will be delivered by DPULOs to support and encourage disabled people to access sport and physical activity, while gaining insight into the behaviours and attitudes of disabled people towards sport, and the triggers to playing more regularly through direct contact and follow-up with them.

Lynne Turnball, Chief Executive Officer for Cheshire Centre for Independent Living, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living, Equal Lives (Norfolk) and DRUK, thanks to valuable funding from Sport England.

“The funding will allow partners to raise awareness with Health and Social Care colleagues of the importance of sport and exercise, as a way for disabled people to improve their wellbeing and also offer support to providers to encourage inclusive practices.”

This partnership is part of Sport England’s wider National Lottery-funded ‘Take-up Programme’, working on a number of projects to increase the number of disabled people regularly playing sport. Although participation levels have increased, there still remains a significant imbalance between the number of disabled and non-disabled people playing sport. This project with DRUK is designed to change thinking around how disabled people can take up and play more sport.

The outcome of delivery will provide further insight into the lives and needs of disabled people and has the scope to tackle issues of latent demand for people who would like to use their personal budgets to take part in sport regularly.

Sport England Chair, Nick Bitel, said: “We are constantly striving to get more disabled people involved in sport, making it a practical lifestyle choice.  Our partnership with Disability Rights UK will help us work nationally and locally with their 340 members’ organisations to try and encourage more disabled people into sport.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for Sport England to work further with disability organisations; promoting sport and exercise as a way of meeting people’s support needs and ultimately getting more disabled people who would like to use a personal budget to regularly play sport.”

Chris Dowsett Press Officer  T: 02072731889  M: 07795 334 826