disability sportNews articles that you may find of interest are listed below...

February 2020 - New Report Shows More to Do to Reduce Disabled People’s Inactivity

Four in five disabled people want to be more active but demand is not being met. Only two in five feel they are given the opportunity to be as active as they would like to be. Worryingly, this level of inequality is resulting in a more negative experience, including social isolation for many disabled people. The findings come from a report released by Activity Alliance today, involving more than 2,000 respondents.

Key findings include:

  • Four in five (81%) disabled adults want to do more activity than they currently do compared with fewer than three in five (57%) non-disabled people.
  • Just four in ten (40%) disabled people feel they are given the opportunity to be as active as they would like to be compared with seven in 10 (71%) non-disabled people.
  • Disabled people are half as likely as non-disabled people to agree that ‘sport’ is for someone like them (32% vs 63%).
  • Seven in ten disabled people are motivated to be active to improve or maintain their physical health.
  • Two in five (41%) disabled people said a fear of losing benefits prevents them from trying to be more active.

Two in three (67%) disabled people said they would listen to GPs, doctors and nurses about taking part in activity.

Read more

January 2020 - ukactive and Sense Launch Research Partnership to Understand Activity Needs of Families With Disabled Children

The ukactive Research Institute has announced a three-year research project with national disability charity, Sense, which seeks to better understand the needs of parents and families of disabled children. Parents of disabled children are encouraged to feed back on the challenges they face when it comes to accessing sport and physical activity, by completing an online survey by Sunday 15 March.

The project will explore the barriers and motivations of the families, and also look at access to provision, the challenges of families being active together, the impact on siblings with no disability, and if there are differences between community and education provision.

Following the initial research, Sense will establish a national activity programme for disabled children and evaluate the impact of it on the child and the wider family.

Sense is a charity dedicated to ensuring that no one – no matter how complex their disabilities – is isolated, left out, or unable to fulfil their potential. Its research with children and young people with complex disabilities shares parallels with the work of the ukactive Research Institute.#

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November 2018 - New Support Launched for Disabled Adults to Improve Health

Two new resources have been launched to help improve the health of adults with a disability.

The first is a Public Health England evidence review which highlights a need for disabled adults to do more physical activity to improve their health. The second is a new UK Chief Medical Officer (CMO) infographic to make physical activity recommendations more accessible and to support disabled people in getting more active.

While national physical activity guidelines are currently produced for the whole population, the new evidence shows there is no risk for people with a disability undertaking physical activity.

It is recommended that people with a disability build up physical activity, concentrating first on frequency, then duration, before finally raising the intensity level. This is especially significant for those that are not active at all and those with other existing health conditions.

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October 2018 - BBS and UK Coaching Launch Inclusive Coaching Course

Calling all coaches! British Blind Sport and UK Coaching have created an eLearning course 'Coaching People with a Visual Impairment'.

This course provides an excellent opportunity for personal development; increasing your knowledge, assurance and skills to be able to support people with a visual impairment with confidence.

Available for just £8.99, this new course raises awareness of the crucial role coaches play in helping people with visual impairments (VI) overcome barriers to participation in sport and physical activity lead active lifestyles, complementing UK Coaching’s ‘person-centred’ principle of great coaching.

More on the Inclusive Coaching Course

October 2018 - ukactive and Sense Announce New Partnership

Disability charity Sense has been named as ukactive’s new charity partner, with the two organisations uniting to improve the inclusiveness of physical activity services across the UK.

The charity will help ukactive to support the sector in becoming more inclusive to people with a disability, recognising the powerful role that physical activity can have in improving health and wellbeing.

The collaboration also aims to develop the evidence base for the role of physical activity in reducing loneliness among people with complex needs.

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September 2018 - Albion in the Community Football Sessions

Albion in the Community currently run a host of football sessions for players with a disability at venues throughout Sussex, including regular sessions in Eastbourne, Burgess Hill, Worthing, Brighton, Lancing (adult only), Horsham and Chichester. These sessions are open to anyone with a disability who is aged five+ who wants to play regular football. Everyone is welcome and Albion in the Community qualified coaches make sure all the players are given the opportunity to experience the many benefits of taking part in regular sport.

For more information on these sessions E: disability@albioninthecommunity.org.uk or T: 01273 668590.

Download timetable

June 2018 - Inclusive Activity Programme Launched

People with a disability look set to benefit from a new Inclusive Activity Programme launched by the Activity Alliance. The National Lottery money has been allocated to help enable people with a disability to be more active.

Research has shown that disabled people are twice as likely to be inactive as non-disabled people, but also that 70 per cent want to be more active. Over three years, the Inclusive Activity Programme will deliver more than 600 practical face-to-face workshops and provide access to ongoing learning and development opportunities for 8,500 people.

The end goal is for trainees to be given the tools to tailor their own activity delivery to a variety of audiences, thereby increasing the likelihood of disabled people, and those with long-term health conditions, getting and staying active.

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March 2017 - Help Shape Accessibility Recommendations for Leisure Operators

UK Deaf Sport and British Blind Sport are working in partnership to better understand people with hearing and/or visual impairments and their use of leisure centres to help develop accessibility recommendations for leisure operators nationwide.

They are looking for people to answer a short survey to help them to develop the recommendations.

Take the survey

March 2017 - Introduction to Disability Officiating for Track and Field

Worthing and District Harriers are running a free “hands on” course on Disability Officiating on Saturday 24th March at Worthing Leisure Centre (11am - 4pm).

Although mainly aimed at officials and coaches, parents and athletes are welcome and may well benefit from the day. The course will include how to secure throwing frames, judging of wheelchair racing and general practicalities of working with athletes of various disabilities

Email Claire Moyle to sign up - cmoyle45@gmail.com

October 2016 - Change to Improve Activity Opportunities for Visually Impaired Women

visual impairment

Findings published in a new report by leading national charities, Women in Sport and British Blind Sport, highlight a need for providers to improve their activity offers for blind and partially sighted women.

The report titled Small Changes, Big Difference, is the first of its kind to explore how sport and physical activity affects the lives of visually impaired women. It looks in depth at their motivations and barriers to becoming more active, and the specific challenges visually impaired women can face when accessing sporting opportunities.

Sport England’s Active People Survey 10, 2016 confirms that 1.6 million fewer women than men currently take part in sport or physical activity once a week. This gender participation gap is also true for visually impaired women. Only 9.3 per cent of women with a visual impairment are active once a week for 30 minutes or more, compared to 11.7 per cent of visually impaired men.

Women in Sport and British Blind Sport are keen to use this new insight and work in partnership with providers to help increase participation of visually impaired women in sport and physical activity.

The report sets out five clear recommendations for providers about how they can better engage with visually impaired women and encourage them to be more active. By making small changes to their service offers, providers can make a big difference to the lives of visually impaired women.

Five recommendations for sport and leisure providers are:

  1. Signpost in innovative ways - Use a range of communications methods and platforms already being accessed by the visually impaired community and ensure sources of information are kept up to date.
  2. Small changes make a big difference - Make small amendments to existing processes and offers. This will enable more visually impaired women to enjoy the benefits of being active. Be prepared to accommodate for additional needs.
  3. Don’t hide behind the rules - Engage in conversation with visually impaired women about their capabilities and potential risks involved. Provide training and resources for frontline staff so they can make accurate assessments of an individual’s abilities.
  4. Empower women to come back - Provide a positive first experience. A good induction programme or tour of the facilities can help visually impaired women overcome confidence issues and safety concerns, and encourage them to return.
  5. Take a personalised approach – Get to know your customers as individuals with different circumstances and lifestyles, rather than someone who is simply blind or partially sighted. Position activities to appeal to the core values of women.

Talking about the importance of this research, Alaina MacGregor, Chief Executive of British Blind Sport said:

“To be able to understand how to help visually impaired women live more active and healthy lives, it’s imperative that firstly we understand their barriers and perceptions around sport and recreation.

With this information to hand we can go on to provide practical advice and guidance. British Blind Sport is delighted to have partnered with Women in Sport on this valuable research, which will enable us to assist a wide range of partners including national governing bodies of sport to make small changes that will make a big difference to lives of women that we support.”

Ruth Holdaway, Chief Executive of Women in Sport added:

“We know from our previous research - Understanding Women’s Lives – that by being better aligned with the values in women’s lives, sport providers will be better positioned to engage women and girls to take part. This research delves deeper into our understanding by focusing on this specific group of women.

Through this new research we have learnt about the important similarities and differences in the barriers and motivators affecting visually impaired women when it comes to playing sport and being physically active.

In many cases, we have learnt that small changes can make a big difference, so we hope that sport providers will now start making some of these small changes to have a big and positive impact for visually impaired women.”

Small Changes, Big Difference recommends easy to implement, insight-led changes for activity providers. These small changes can have a profound and positive impact of the lives of visually impaired women, empowering them to be more active and enjoy the benefits of sport.

To download and read Small Changes, Big Difference report in full, pleaseclick here.

October 2016 - CP Sport Swimming SplashStart Session Coming to Sussex!


A fantastic swimming opportunity is coming to Sussex! Try swimming for the first time, or continue swimming in a fun environment for anyone with a physical disability and their family!

CP Sport will deliver the SplashStart session taking place on Saturday 5thNovember, 4-5pm with the support of Active Sussex to give a fun and friendly swimming opportunity to children and adults with cerebral palsy or other physical disabilities.

Qualified staff and coaches will be on hand during the 1 hour session to offer tips, advice and run some fun games with a bonfire night theme. Following the session there will also be opportunity to find out about other local disability swimming opportunities and pathways.

The session is for all ages and abilities, and encourages all the family to get involved and is completely free, although registration is highly recommended to secure your place.

The session will take place at The Dolphin Leisure Centre, Pasture Hill Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1LY.

More information & how to register:

Sussex Splashstart Poster

CP Sport Splash Start Registration form


Contact: sarah.livesey@cpsport.org / 0115 925 7027 / 07519 809 024

October 2016 - Premier League and BT Invest in Disability Inclusion Programme

disability sport

The Premier League is teaming up with BT to invest in a three-year sport and inclusion programme for disabled individuals.

Both parties will plough money into the scheme across England and Wales, with each Premier League club making the commitment to employ dedicated disability officers responsible for coordinating the programme.

While neither organisation has disclosed how much they will earmark for the project, BT has stated that it forms part of its goal to raise £1bn for good causes by 2020.

Local agencies and partners will work with the disability officers on arranging the inclusive sporting opportunities.

At the end of each season, the Premier League and BT will organise a national event to mark the achievements. The event will be captured by the BT Sports Film team.

“BT is a long-term supporter of disability sport and is passionately committed to inclusion and diversity for our people and customers,” said BT chief executive Gavin Patterson.

“Our partnership with the Premier League underpins BT’s firm belief that disabled people should have every opportunity that non-disabled people have.”

July 2016 - Inclusive Community Training Programme

"The most important thing I’ll take away from today is to focus on what people can do, rather than what they can’t," says the YMCA’s Joe Hoblyn.

He has just completed a training programme aimed at equipping him and others with the knowledge to help disabled people get into sport and activity.

Just 2 in 10 disabled people are regularly active, according to new research.

And three-quarters don't know about any opportunities to take part in sport.

Breaking down barriers

The Sainsbury’s Inclusive Community Training programme, supported with £1 million of our funding, is working to break down the barriers to being active.

Its three-hour training course is designed to give everyone, from carers and volunteers to family and community workers, the know-how to offer inclusive physical activity sessions that cater for disabled people.

Among those who’ve already taken the course is Cass, who’s a volunteer at a Riding for the Disabled club in Yorkshire working with disabled children and adults.
She said taking the course has opened her eyes to different ways she can adapt sessions for her riders.

"The course has given me more confidence to encourage my riders to have a say in what they'd like to do and achieve," she added.

The programme, part of the Active Kids For All scheme, is being delivered through the English Federation of Disability Sport and sports coach UK.

Workshops are being held across the country – find your nearest one now.

June 2016 - Get Yourself Active Using Personal Budgets

get yourself activeGet Yourself Active is supporting disabled people to use their personal budget or personal health budget to get active. They can help  by finding ways for disabled people to get active in their local area in a way that is right for them. You can also find out about how people are using personal budgets to get active! Their information should be useful to all, whether they have a personal budget or not. There are many reasons why it is good to be active but the most important reason is so people can enjoy themselves and have fun!

May 2016 - People with Dwarfism Call for More Accessible Sports Opportunities

dwarf sport

New research highlights a clear need for sports providers to offer more local sport and recreational activity opportunities, which are accessible for people with dwarfism and restricted growth. The new report published by Dwarf Sports Association UK (DSAuk), titled Giving You Clear Results, highlights key survey findings about current participation trends, motivations and barriers to taking part and latent demand of sport and activities among the dwarf/restricted growth population.

They include:

  • Top five current participation activities for people with dwarfism are swimming, boccia, athletics, badminton and walking
  • Top three reasons for participating in sport and physical activity were given as enjoyment, keeping fit and socialising
  • Eight in ten (84 per cent) people stated that they would like to do more sport and/or physical activity in the future

The report also highlights valuable findings for sports providers such as National Governing Bodies of sport, County Sports Partnerships and local sports clubs, on how to they can improve their activity offers for people with dwarfism and restricted growth.

The report highlights:

  • Almost half of survey respondents (48 per cent) travel more than 30 minutes to take part in some form of sport or physical activity.
  • Only one in ten (12 per cent) people described being ‘very happy’ with the amount of time they spend travelling to participate.
  • Travel difficulties was also highlighted as one of the top three barriers to participation, along with lack of suitable opportunities and other health conditions.
  • The research revealed a high level of latent demand from people with dwarfism and restricted growth for other sports including archery, canoeing/kayaking and table tennis.

Nigel Burton, Inclusive Sports Officer at DSAuk said about the survey:

“We are keen to use this report to work with sports providers at all levels and with support from our DSAuk Regional Development Officers, we hope to fill the gaps in delivery of more accessible opportunities for people with dwarfism and restricted growth across the UK.”

DSAuk is the National Disability Sports Organisation for people with restricted growth and dwarfism in the UK and are supported by Sport England. They aim to make regular sporting opportunities accessible and enjoyable to anyone with restricted growth.

Read the Giving you clear results - DSAuk report.

April 2016 - New EFDS Report Highlights Importance of Supporters of Disabled People

disability sport

'Supporting Me to be Active' - a new report released by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) - highlights the important role carried out by supporters of disabled people, and how sport providers can engage with them more. Previous EFDS research has shown that many disabled people have small social networks who they rely on for day-to-day support, including friends, family and professionally paid support.

The report collates discussions with these individuals to understand their views in more depth. Findings include:

- 8/10 supporters state they have some level of influence in encouraging disabled people to be active
- Supporters offer a variety of emotional and physical support, as well as logistical support
- The most common type of support given (by 6/10 supporters) is as a motivator and inspirer, e.g. offering new ideas to be active

EFDS hope that these findings will be used by providers of disability sport to engage more with supporters, by:

- Helping supporters with their concerns and ensure that they can access information about safety, facilities, environment etc.
- Targeting supporters more effectively by making them aware of activities which appeal to them directly

Adam Blaze, Sport England's Strategic Lead of Disability, said:
'This research goes to show how important it is for the friends and family of, and professionals working with, disabled people to encourage them to get more active. Their decision to help that person to take part in sport or other activities will have a direct impact on their health and emotional wellbeing.'

EFDS worked on this report with the Future Thinking research agency, and in partnership with the English Learning Disability Sports Alliance (ELDSA) & Sport England.

You can download the full report here. For more information, visit the EFDS website.

April 2016 - New Research Calls for Better Sporting Opportunities for Young Disabled People

disability sport

Active Beyond Education - new research commissioned by Disability Sports Organisations in the UK - has highlighted a clear need to engage disabled people in sport and physical activity at a young age. The research explores young disabled people's experiences of sport and physical activity during their transition from education to adulthood - with key reasons including change in physical condition, lack of life skills and external factors.

The research also outlines some recommendations for educators, healthcare professionals & providers about how they can provide better opportunities for young disabled people after they leave education, including:

- Encouraging healthcare professionals to recommend suitable sport and leisure activities
- Training and guidance for educators about enabling young disabled people to better engage in PE lessons
- Providers to engage young disabled people in sport and physical activity earlier, while they are still in education
- More opportunities to bid for funds to support physical activity participation of young disabled people

Active Beyond Education was commissioned by six of the UK’s National Disability Sports Organisations: British Blind Sport, Cerebral Palsy Sport, Dwarf Sports Association UK, LimbPower, UK Deaf Sport and WheelPower - in partnership with the English Federation of Disability Sport and Sport England’s Inclusive Sport Fund.

April 2016 - UK Deaf Sport Accreditation Scheme to Improve Deaf Sport

dis sport

UK Deaf Sport, the recognised strategic lead for deaf sport across the UK has launched 'DEAFinitely Inclusive' to improve the provision of deaf sport across the country. The new accreditation scheme aims to increase the number of deaf people playing, coaching and volunteering in sport by working directly with local providers.

Organisations which take up the scheme will work with UK Deaf Sport to complete a set of criteria to address the barriers that deaf people may face when accessing opportunities at their club or facility.

On completion of the scheme, each organisation will be given accredited status as a DEAFinitely Inclusive club or facility, and be awarded the new quality kite mark.

Accredited sports clubs and leisure facilities can then use the DEAFinitely Inclusive kite mark to promote their activities and events to the local deaf community.

For more information about the DEAFinitely Inclusive accreditation scheme and quality kite mark, visit the DEAFinitely Inclusive website.

April 2016 - Get Out and Get Active - New Disability Sport Initiative


At the start of the year Spirit of 2012, a charity set up to carry forward the spirit of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, awarded £4.5 million to a UK-wide consortium led by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS).

2012The funding, for a programme named Get Out and Get Active, will be used to help people in 18 locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the focus on increasing participation in fun and inclusive physical activity.

The aim is that disabled and non-disabled people can enjoy recreational activity together and Barry Horne, Chief Executive of EFDS, is excited about the programme’s potential:

“I am absolutely delighted that EFDS has been invited by Spirit of 2012 to oversee such a major investment into communities across the UK.

“We believe this programme has the potential to change how people can be encouraged and enabled to become more active, in opportunities which are often on their doorstep but for so long have seemed out of reach. We really think this programme could be a game-changer.”

The funding will not focus on providing new activities, but aims to increase demand for, and the accessibility of, existing opportunities in local authorities, sport and activity clubs and the voluntary sector.

It is that spirit of collaboration, which Horne believes makes the programme such an exciting opportunity.

“The whole programme is built on collaboration. One of the most striking things we found when discussing our approach with national partners was the extent to which approaches to inclusion across all the least active groups in society need to have many common features.

“Most importantly, having established the principles and purpose of the bid, we spent time in each of our localities developing proposals that could be genuinely sustainable and relevant for that area. Because we chose such a diverse range of localities, there will be so much valuable learning to share.”

The funding award reflects the sentiments of the Sports Strategy released by the Government before the New Year, which puts a huge emphasis on how playing sport and being active can have a meaningful and measurable impact on improving people’s lives.

In making this significant investment in Get Out and Get Active, Spirit of 2012 is particularly interested in understanding what works best to get those who are least active into activity, and how to keep them active.

It is those people that the programme will be specifically trying to reach. Horne points to EFDS’s own insight work as providing a sound knowledge base from which to progress.

“EFDS has learnt so much through our research with disabled people about new approaches to engage many more people into active recreation,” he said.

“There are so many lessons we can learn from the project that will support better health and wellbeing outcomes right across the UK. All partners want to ensure that being active is appealing, accessible, fun and inclusive for a wide variety of populations.

“We want to understand how we can give people the confidence to enjoy active lives
together, especially with their families and friends."

Debbie Lye, Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012, added:

“This initiative can help all of us who are concerned about health and wellbeing to learn lessons that will support delivery of the Government’s new strategy for an active nation.”

EFDS knows that seven in ten disabled people want to be more active, representing a huge and ‘untapped’ market. Six in ten (64 per cent) disabled people would prefer to take part in sport and physical activity with a mix of disabled and non-disabled people.

Physical inactivity has unsustainable health, economic and social impacts on individuals, families, communities and local services, at an annual cost to society of £7.4 billion.

Dugald Mackie, Chair of Spirit of 2012, reflects on this in January’s announcement.

“There are few more important health issues facing the UK today than the health consequences of sedentary lifestyles, and as an Olympic and Paralympic inspired charity, I believe strongly that Spirit of 2012 should be at the forefront of finding imaginative ways of tackling it.”

That search for, and implementation of, imaginative approaches is central to Get Out & Get Active.

So, what happens next? Horne continues: “The programme is not due to start until October and we have a healthy list of early actions to put in place to make sure we are ready to run! Not least of which will be putting in place governance and accountability arrangements and from a personal point of view, perhaps most importantly, appointing a top quality Programme Manager to drive this forward.

“Over the next four years our local and national partners, and the English Federation of Disability Sport, will put our collective insight and expertise into practice right across the UK.”

More information will be available over the coming months. To find out how you can Get Out and Get Active, visit www.efds.co.uk