Boost for disability sport in North Somerset

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By Go4Life | Wednesday, December 05, 2012, 09:59

Disabled people in North Somerset will have more opportunities to get involved in sport after North Somerset Council's new Sportarray project received £34,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England's Inclusive Sport fund.

Across the country 44 projects will benefit from £10.2 million of National Lottery investment from the fund. 

Following consultation with the disability sector and disabled people in North Somerset the council's Sportarray project will use its funding to provide disability awareness training for sport clubs and promote clubs that welcome disabled young people and adults.  Existing local sports clubs will be supported through the project to provide inclusive and dedicated coaching sessions for disabled young people and adults.

North Somerset Council was one of only three local authorities in the South West to successfully bid for funding and over the next three years the Sportarray project will help to encourage 570 disabled young people and adults in North Somerset to play sport regularly.

North Somerset Council would like to hear from local sport clubs who want to expand or develop inclusive and dedicated sport opportunities at their club, as well as organisations which support disabled people to help the focus of inclusive sport in the area.  Any local volunteers with an interest in developing sports opportunities for people with disabilities are also welcome to get involved.

Please contact Rebecca Stathers, Sport and Active Lifestyles Manager at North Somerset Council on 01275 882 733 or email for further information and to register your interest in becoming involved in the project.

Welcoming the news, Britain's greatest Paralympian, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said: "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. 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, Sport England has increased the funding available through this Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme from £8 million to over £10 million. The Inclusive Sport fund will help tackle the opportunity gap that sees one in six disabled adults playing sport regularly, compared with one in three non-disabled adults.

Sport England Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said: "We have one simple aim with this investment: to make sport a viable choice for disabled people, young or not, talented or not. 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 to over £10 million."

Inclusive Sport is part of Sport England's Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities all over the country.

Charles Reed, the Chair of English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS), said: "The number of applications and the increase in the fund made available highlights how many organisations have been inspired to increase inclusive sports participation at every level. It is fantastic to see such a wide range of successful projects, which will indeed make a wider impact on local and national provision for disabled people. We look forward to working with the project leaders to share better practices, promote the opportunities and ensure disabled people can be active for life."



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