Disabled sport in England receives £10 million boost

Monday, 03 December 2012
By Tom Degun at Mile End Leisure Centre and Stadium in London

DSCF3295December 3 - Sport England has promised £10.2 million ($16.4 million/€12.6 million) of National Lottery funding for 44 projects that will give disabled people across the country more opportunities to get involved in sport.

The money will come directly from Sport England's Inclusive Sport fund, which looks to help tackle the opportunity gap that sees just one in six disabled adults playing sport regularly compared to one in three non-disabled adults.

In attendance at the announcement here today was Britain's 11-time Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson (pictured top, centre), who backed the investment to make a big impact following the London 2012 Games.

"This funding will go a long way to helping those inspired by the outstanding performances of our Paralympians this summer to get out and try sport for themselves," said Baroness Tanni.

"It's fantastic to see such a wide range of organisations benefitting – all of them focused on helping more disabled people to discover how much sport has to offer."

Responding to the high quality of bids for the funding, Sport England increased money available through this Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme from £8 million ($13 million/€10 million) to £10.2 million ($16.4 million/€12.6 million).

It will pay for sports equipment that can be taken to a variety of locations using bespoke designed portable surfaces in order to reach more than traditional sports facilities, giving disabled people new opportunities to get involved at times and places convenient to them.

The project will also recruit disabled people as ambassadors for sport, as well as working directly with venues, facilities and clubs to support and improve the sports they have on offer.

Sport England PPPInclusive Sport is part of Sport England’s Places People Play legacy programme that aims to build on the success of London 2012

"We have one simple aim with this investment: to make sport a viable choice for disabled people, young or not, talented or not," said Sport England chief executive Jennie Price.

"It is a tribute to the organisations who bid for funding that we had so many high quality proposals we were able to increase the lottery funding available from £8 million ($13 million/€10 million) to over £10 million ($16 million/€12.3 million)."

Among the projects to receive funding is Together East, which is receiving over £560,000 ($898,856/€689,696) to deliver a series of initiatives designed to respond to the needs of disabled people in East London.

A collaborative project between the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), Pro-Active East London, five of the Olympic and Paralympic Host Boroughs Greenwich Leisure Limited, WheelPower and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, the project will deliver a multi-sport participation programme culminating in an annual festival of disability sport on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

"We want to continue the momentum from the London 2012 Paralympic Games and do all we can to increase opportunities for people with a disability to get involved in sport," added Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson.

"The Paralympics was arguably the biggest success of the summer and we want to leave a real legacy from the Games."

Inclusive Sport is part of Sport England's Places People Play legacy programme that aims to bring the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities all over the country through £150 million ($241 million/€185 million) of funding.

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