Liverpool has been awarded more than £300,000 to encourage disabled adults to get sporty.
The money will fund the Activate Me project, set to start in early 2013, opening up opportunities for adults with disabilities to get involved in a variety of sporting activities.
Figures show that only 22.6 per cent of people – around 3,200 – living in Liverpool with a limiting disability are involved in physical activity once a week. The aim of the programme is to get this sector interested in a sport that they can take part in for several years – from dance and basketball to swimming and football.
There will be a group of ‘Activators’ who will give one-on-one support to disabled people who are interested in accessing sport, building their confidence and being on hand to give them advice and help them become as sporty as possible
Sports Buddies will also be recruited to offer initial support to anyone who is trying something new.
And, to make sure the new initiative is as accessible as possible, each session will cost just £1.
Liverpool city council’s cabinet member responsible for leisure, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We consulted with the disabled community to find out exactly what was stopping people from getting fit and active.
“Activate Me is all about eradicating any barriers which stop someone taking up an activity, and we can now create a legacy of lifelong sport for disabled people.
“Funding like this is essential and as a result new sessions can be provided, more training can be given to staff and volunteers and equipment can be bought.
“We’re committed to increasing inclusive sports participation at every level and I hope that as a result of this new scheme, more people get involved with sport and you never know, we may produce the Paralympians of the future!”
The project will initially offer opportunities to people with one of three disabilities:
The programme hopes to overcome the barriers which may prevent people taking up a sport – which includes building people’s confidence and improving communication so people know what facilities in the city are available to them.
The city council bid for the National Lottery funding of £334,000 which was awarded by Sport England’s Inclusive Sport Fund through their Places People Play programme. The funding is available as a result of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme.
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.”
Activate Me is also being supported financially by Liverpool Mutual Homes and Your Housing.