Sport England has today provided a further boost to disability sport by awarding £2.1 million of National Lottery funding to help increase the number of disabled people playing sport.
Sport England will be directly funding seven national disability sports organisations (NDSOs), between October 2014 and 2017, to advise, support and guide other sports bodies as they create opportunities for disabled people to take part in sport. The funding will provide impairment-specific support to National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and deliver engagement programmes.
The seven disability sports organisations to benefit from the investment are:
- British Blind Sport
- Cerebral Palsy Sport
- Dwarf Sport Association UK
- Limb Power
- English Learning Disability Sports Alliance
- UK Deaf Sport
The investment over three years will work to strengthen the delivery of sport for disabled people, engagement and partnership creation with the purpose of educating and supporting specific groups, and working with NGBs and other organisations.
In addition, the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) has been awarded a further one year investment of £204,153 of National Lottery funding to provide support in both marketing and communications and research and insight.
Currently, non-disabled people are twice as likely to play sport as disabled people (39.2 per cent play compared to 17.8 per cent) and as a result, Sport England is continuing to focus its attention and investment in this area to address the imbalance.
Sport England Chairman, Nick Bitel, said: “The number of disabled people playing sport increased over the last investment period, however, there is still an imbalance that we are keen to rectify.
“This investment is designed for these bodies to align closely with NGBs and integrate the sport on offer to both disabled and non-disabled people, meaning that disabled people who want to play sport can have as much opportunity as possible to do so.”
Chief Executive of WheelPower, Martin McElhatton, said: “This significant investment from Sport England will enable NDSO’s like WheelPower to further develop sport and physical activity for disabled people in partnership with National Governing Bodies of Sport and the wider sector over the next three years. It will provide us with the opportunity to grow the number of opportunities for disabled people to take part in sport across a wider network of organisations and help make sport more inclusive for disabled people in the future.”