Sport is at its best when it is inclusive. Indeed sport is one of, if not the best, way to break down barriers and promote inclusion of those who are often left on the sidelines – and an excellent new programme launched by the Activity Alliance aims to make it easier for disabled people to get active.

70% of disabled people want to be more active

A new £450,000 investment will see the Inclusive Activity Programme (IAP) engaging with key groups via specialised training to give them the best possible opportunities to get active. Research has shown that disabled people are twice as likely to be inactive as non-disabled people, but also – crucially – that 70 per cent of disabled people want to be more active.

UNICEF’s ‘Inclusive Sport’ edict states:

Promoting the participation of children with disabilities as an example of inclusion. People living with disabilities constitute approximately 10 per cent of the global population. Of this total, 80 per cent live in low-income countries; most are poor and have limited or no access to basic services, including rehabilitation facilities. Sport is a way to engage these children in the lives of their communities, thereby enriching both the child’s life and the community itself. Inclusion is a way to begin undoing many obstacles; inclusive societies are fair societies and sport is a great way to start

Over the programme’s scheduled three years, the IAP will deliver over 600 practical, tailored face-to-face workshops and provide access to ongoing learning and development opportunities for 8,500 people. Mike Diaper, director for tackling inactivity, said:

Inactive people are missing out on a wealth of physical and mental health benefits. Many disabled people want to be active but can be put off by things such as a lack of opportunities and the right support. We are delighted to be providing National Lottery funding for the Inclusive Activity Programme, which will train coaches, local community activators and health care professionals so they can offer disabled people strong support and help build their confidence about getting active. Mike Diaper

The ultimate goal is for trainees to be given the tools to tailor their own activity, and increase the likelihood of disabled people – and those with long-term health conditions – getting and staying active.

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