British Wheelchair Basketball has launched its "Inspire a Generation" programme ©Getty Images

British Wheelchair Basketball has launched its "Inspire a Generation" programme to double participation over the next four years.

The new programme, driven by British Wheelchair Basketball and supported by £1.5 million ($2 million/€1.7 million) of Sport England funding, will aim to engage an inactive population through inclusive activity.

It is also set to be seen as vital in helping disabled participants find or return to physical activity after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"I’m absolutely delighted to be launching the Inspire a Generation programme," said British Wheelchair Basketball chief executive Lisa Pearce. 

"It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to grow participation and, thanks to substantial investment of £1.5 million from the National Lottery and Sport England, the first time in nearly 10 years that significant funding has been made to support participation growth in wheelchair basketball. 

"There are a potential 70,000 new people waiting to play our sport and through Inspire a Generation, we have the ability to introduce them to wheelchair basketball and embed sustained active lifestyles, whilst improving confidence and self-esteem."

British Wheelchair Basketball are currently recruiting community activators and local community partners to deliver the Inspire a Generation programme. 

These individuals will receive the necessary support and virtual training to offer fun and enjoyable opportunities for people to participate in wheelchair basketball.

The six-week Inspire a Generation taster sessions will then begin later this year. 

"This is a very exciting moment for wheelchair basketball and a positive move to encourage more people to play the game," said British wheelchair basketball player Sophie Carrigill.

"Wheelchair basketball is an inclusive sport - anyone can play, irrespective of age, gender and ability. 

"The programme is a fantastic introduction to our sport - my life is so much better because I discovered wheelchair basketball and I hope that others can experience that through Inspire a Generation."

The Inspire a Generation programme will also be supported by a number of national partners, including StreetGames, UK Coaching and Whizz Kidz.