Helping more disabled people play more sport

Disabled people are less than half as likely to take part in sport than non-disabled people and we are committed to changing this by making sport a practical choice for all.

This week we announced a further £2.1 million investment of National Lottery funding to help get more disabled people playing sport.

The award will directly fund seven national disability sports organisations (NDSOs) over the next three years, allowing them to advise, support and guide other sports bodies to strengthen the delivery of sport for disabled people. It will also help them create partnerships to educate and support specific groups, as well as working with national governing bodies (NGBs) and other organisations.

In addition, the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) has been awarded a further year investment of £204,153 to provide support in both marketing and communications and research and insight.

This additional funding is the latest strand of our wider strategy which will see us invest over £171 million into disability sport by 2017.

As well as investing into NDSOs, we are also supporting grassroots sports projects directly through funds such as Get Equipped and Inclusive Sport which have helped over 200 organisations across the country to get more disabled people playing sport.

One of the 88 projects that received a share of the £18.2 million Inclusive Sport fund is Wheels for Wellbeing, a cycling programme in London which received a grant of £468,653 to offer regular, affordable opportunities for disabled people to try cycling, to discover which type of cycle is best suited to them, and to continue with cycling in the future. Watch this film to find out how the funding has allowed Shani to discover a love of the sport.

In order to deliver sport successfully it is vital that sport providers have the right equipment and our £1 million Get Equipped programme has enabled 146 different projects to purchase  equipment that allows more disabled people take part in sport.

Knowledgeable, confident and competent people also make a great difference to the success of sport and that is why we have partnered with Sainsbury’s to deliver the £1 million Active Kids for All Inclusive Community Training programme. The training is aimed at support workers, parents, carers, healthcare professionals, volunteers and community based groups and organisations to help them support and deliver sport to disabled people of all ages.

All of these funding streams are on top of the £91.5 million that we are investing into the NGBs as part of their whole sport plan awards. As well as funding four disability specific governing bodies, we also support 38 other NGBs to help them increase the number of disabled people playing their sport.

We recognise that funding alone is not enough to close the participation gap between disabled and able-bodied sport and that is why we are also working on developing a better understanding of the disability market. To build on this insight, we are going to be investing in a pilot project with several NGBs over the next year. This will help us gather further knowledge of what attracts disabled people to take part in sport.

Currently 1.63 million disabled people over the age of 16 play sport but this is still only 17.8 per cent of the disabled population and, with the plans outlined above, we are committed to improving this figure.