At Help for Heroes, we have long championed the role sport can play in the recovery journey of people with a physical or mental injury or illness.
And as the latest sport and physical activity sector surveys show, this mission is more important than ever.
This past summer, Activity Alliance, the national charity and leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity, published its latest Annual Disability and Activity Survey highlighting slow progress in engaging more disabled people after the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
According to this survey, disabled people are being left out as we return to activity and are feeling less encouraged to be active - this is despite eight in 10 wanting to be more so (compared to 51% of non-disabled people).
These inequalities are also exposed by Sport England’s last Active Lives Adults Survey.
Its findings prove that, while activity levels are starting to recover following large drops caused by the pandemic restrictions, activity is less common for disabled people or those with a long-term health condition (45%) than those without (66%).
Every day, an average of four men and women are medically discharged from the Armed Forces because of illness or injury. This can lead to social isolation and a loss of purpose in life.
For these men and women physical exercise is not just a means to recovery, it‘s about sport helping give those who have suffered injuries or illnesses something to aspire to.
Earlier this year, Help for Heroes re-launched its Front Line to Start Line performance sport transition programme for wounded athletes, from talent identification through to retirement from sport.