Taster sessions to get disabled people active

Liverpool adults with disabilities are being encouraged to get sporty at a special free event taking place on Monday (13 April).

From 10.30am to 3pm, Archbishop Beck Sports College will play host to a series of taster sessions so people can try out a number of different sports including tennis, wheelchair rugby, cricket, Zumba, netball and karate.

The initiative is part of the ‘Active Me’ programme which aims to open up opportunities for adults with disabilities to get involved in a range of sporting activities. The scheme was set up 18 months ago and already has 300 members who take part in weekly sessions.

On Monday, the activities will be delivered by experienced and accredited coaches and throughout the event, assistants and volunteers will be on hand to help out.  They will also be joined by Sports Buddies who have been specifically recruited as part of the initiative to offer initial support to anyone taking up a sport for the first time.

Anyone who would like to take part must register at Archbishop Beck Sports College (55 Long Lane) by 10.15am.

Liverpool City Council’s Inclusive Sports Manager Michelle Messom, said: “We’re delighted with the take-up of the Active Me programme so far, but we want to make sure we reach as many adults in our disabled community as possible, and these come and try sessions are the perfect way to do this.

“Some people may never have taken up a sport before, or they haven’t been active for several years so don’t have the confidence to join in.

“The aim of the taster sessions is to build people’s confidence and show, not only the physical benefits of getting fitter, but also highlight the social side of taking up a sport – being part of a team and making new friends can do wonders for a person’s health and wellbeing.”

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 the Active Me 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 22 sessions each week taking place at a variety of centres including Lifestyles Ellergreen, Garston, Peter Lloyd, Walton, Wavertree Aquatics Centre, Austin Rawlinson, Dovecot Mac and Bradbury Fields VI Centre.  A team of ‘Activators’ are on hand to 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.

To make sure the initiative is as accessible as possible, each session will cost just £2 and the first session is free.

The programme is funded by a £330,000 Sport England Inclusive Sport fund.  For more details about Active Me, contact Michelle Messom on 07545200317.