Disability sport in the Derbyshire Dales is set to receive a welcome boost after the Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership, Derbyshire Sport and Derbyshire Dales District Council received an £7,935 joint award from Sport England to purchase new equipment.
The money will be used to buy New Age Kurling equipment and Seated Volleyball kit which will open up opportunities to increase numbers of young people in local secondary schools and community clubs playing these inclusive disability-friendly sports for the first time.
Janice Price, Partnership Development Manager at the Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership, which develops opportunities for high quality PE & sport in the Derbyshire Dales and Hope Valley, said:
"This is great news. We're committed to building on the legacy of the Paralympic games to inspire students with special educational needs and physical disabilities and support them to make sport and physical activity a part of their everyday life."
"Our students with Special Educational Needs have a strong record in competitions like the School Games and this will help us widen the range of sports on offer. New Age Kurling and Seated Volleyball are also both brilliant sports because people of all abilities are able to play them together. I'm really grateful to both Derbyshire Sport and Derbyshire Dales for their support in securing this bid."
Lisa O'Keefe, Sport England's Director of Insight, said:
"We know that many organisations and clubs delivering sport struggle to provide sporting opportunities for disabled people because of a lack of access to specialist equipment. We are delighted to award these vital funds jointly to Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership, Derbyshire Sport and Derbyshire Dales District Council which will play a transformative role in opening up sport to many people who previously found it inaccessible."
The award is part of Sport England's 'Get Equipped' fund which was designed to build on the success of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. £1 million of National Lottery funding is being distributed to organisations across England to allow them to provide specialist equipment which will help make sport a practical choice for many more disabled people inspired by the Games.
The number of disabled people playing sport regularly is on the rise. In December, Sport England's Active People Survey - an annual, in-depth measure of the nation's sporting habits – revealed that a record number of disabled people in England now play sport each week. The number of disabled people aged 16 and over playing sport once a week has increased by 62,000 over the last year, bringing the total number to its highest recorded figure of 1.67 million, 351,000 more than in 2005 when London won the bid to host the Games.
However, non-disabled people are still twice as likely to play sport as disabled people (39.2 per cent compared to 18.5 per cent) which is why Sport England continues to focus attention and investment to address this imbalance.