A new initiative to encourage disabled people to get sporty has started in Liverpool.
More than 70 people have joined the ‘Active Me’ programme which began in December 2013 and aims to open up opportunities for adults with disabilities to get involved in a range 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 exercise once a week.
The aim of this programme is to inspire and motivate disabled people to take up a sport or physical activity such as athletics, dance, badminton and swimming.
There are currently six sessions each week taking place at Lifestyles Ellergreen, Everton Park, Garston, Peter Lloyd and Walton. A team of ‘Activators’ are on hand who will give one-on-one support to participants interested in accessing a particular sport, building their confidence and being on hand to give them advice and help them become as sporty as possible.
Plans are in place to also recruit Sports Buddies to offer initial support to anyone joining a sports club for the first time.
And, to make sure the new initiative is as accessible as possible, each session will cost just £2 and the first session is free.
Some of the newly signed-up participants will take part in showing off their new sporting skills in a handball match on Tuesday (4 March) at Lifestyles Ellergreen in Norris Green.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for leisure, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We want to be able to eradicate any barriers which could prevent people with disabilities taking up a sport, and support them in trying something which may be new to them.
“Through Active Me, we want to see an increase in the number of people involved in physical activity every week. We’re delighted to have so many have signed up since December, and hope to encourage even more to take part.
“We’re committed to increasing inclusive sports participation at every level and with this new initiative hope to create a legacy of lifelong sport for disabled people.”
The project will initially offer opportunities to people with one of three disabilities: