Thursday, 6 June 2013

New Scheme To Encourage People With A Disability Into Sport

People will have more opportunities to get involved in sport thanks to a brand new programme due to be launched in Cambridgeshire.

Stepping Stone is one of 44 projects nationwide to attract funding from Sport England's People, Places, Play inclusive legacy programme. Co-funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and delivered by Action for Children it aims to support adults and young people (14+) with a physical, sensory or health need to engage in regular sports activities within mainstream sports settings, clubs or organisations. The project aims to work directly with individuals offering advice, training and funding to help with their route into sport.

If all goes well as many as 200 people will acquire the skills, confidence and knowhow to access sport and become involved either as a regular participant, club member, coach, referee or administrator.  

In many examples this type of programme would focus on sporting activities exclusively developed and organised for people with additional needs whereas Stepping Stone looks to ascertain exactly what sport the individual wants to do, and then assist them to access this sport within mainstream sports clubs. The possibilities are therefore almost endless as funding can be used to buy equipment, membership, coaching or training and the scheme can also help individuals access additional support where needed.

Stepping Stone is being launched at two forthcoming events in the county, the first will be at is the Disability Sports and Arts Festival at Chesterton Sports Centre this Sunday the 9th June and the second at the Huntingdon Outdoor Sports Festival at One Leisure St Ives outdoor complex on 14th July.

At these events vouchers will be given out entitling eligible individuals to £15 towards a sports session or equipment fees upon completion of the Stepping Stone registration form. You can also find out more about the scheme and register your interest by contacting Ryan Armes at Action for Children by emailing ryan.armes@actionforchildren.org.uk or calling 01223 301756.

Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Skills, Councillor Mathew Shuter, said: “We are hoping to build a truly inclusive legacy with this programme and encourage those inspired by the incredible performances of our Paralympians last summer to achieve their sporting aspirations.”