Disability sport in North West set to receive a boost with more funding available (From Runcorn and Widnes World)
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Disability sport in North West set to receive a boost with more funding available
5:10pm Monday 7th October 2013 in Sport
FROM today organisations in the North West with the right ideas to open up more sporting opportunities for disabled people and those in need of equipment will be able to bid for a share of £8 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England.
With disabled people only half as likely to play sport on a weekly basis compared to non-disabled, this funding will help tackle the opportunity gap by investing £7 million through the Inclusive Sport fund and £1 million in Get Equipped, a new disability equipment fund.
Sport England Director of Insight, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “Last summer’s Paralympic Games sent a very clear message about disability sport. We need to build upon this and make sure the opportunities and the equipment are there for those disabled people who want to take part in sport. I would encourage any organisation seeking to help more disabled people to play sport apply to this fund.”
Three projects in the North West to have already benefitted from £677,753 of Inclusive Sport funding, including The Cheshire Academy of Integrated Sport, Stockport, East Cheshire and High Peak Cerebral Palsy Society and Henshaws Society for Blind People.
The Cheshire Academy of Integrated Sport were awarded £101,644 to provide new opportunities for disabled people across four sports - gymnastics, boccia, football and badminton – by increasing capacity in existing sessions and adding new coaching sessions.
Iain Chalmers, Cheshire Academy co-director said “This award has been invaluable in enabling us to attract new members and in increasing the number of individuals with disabilities who wish to take part in sport. It has also allowed us to strengthen our organisation by funding fully qualified coaches which has resulted in raising the standards within sport.”
The £1 million of new funding available through Get Equipped will also help address the need for specialist equipment to deliver disability sport. Both disabled people and sport deliverers have identified the cost and availability of equipment as a barrier to taking part in sport.
The funding will allow clubs to apply for up to £10,000 to purchase sports equipment designed to support the delivery of sport for disabled people.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller said: “The Paralympics made people think about disability differently and I want to make sure that we build on that. As part of the Paralympic legacy we want to see increased opportunities for disabled people to get involved in sport and ensure we have the funding to support that ambition.
"This £8 million public fund will go towards disability sport projects up and down the country and provide essential equipment to get more disabled people participating.”
This investment builds on the work already being done by Sport England to make grassroots sport truly open to everyone. More than £157 million is being invested in programmes and projects to increase the number of disabled people playing sport via our legacy programmes and our Youth and Community Strategy.
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