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- 06 May 2014 00:00
- in Paralympics
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MPs have seen first-hand how Sport England funding is increasing sporting opportunities for disabled people across the country at a recent parliamentary reception in Westminster.
The special reception showcased the projects, facilities and specialist equipment that have received over £170 million from Sport England.
This £170 million National Lottery funding has helped allow a record 1.67 million disabled people in England to play sport regularly.
"The London 2012 Paralympic Games were a real game changer for disability sport,” said Sport England Chair Nick Bitel.
"Sport England's priority at the grassroots is to make sport a practical choice for many more disabled people.
"We are working in a completely different way with a range of impairment groups and those who support them to achieve this, and although there is a lot more to do, we are pleased that record numbers of disabled people are now playing sport regularly.”
Among the demonstrations of disability sport at Westminster was Motivate East – who staged a boccia session on mats purchased with funding provided by Sport England.
Motivate East received over £560,000 from the first round of the Inclusive Sport fund back in December 2012, with the aim of delivering a series of initiatives designed to respond to the needs of disabled people in East London.
The funding has paid for sports equipment that can be taken to a variety of locations using bespoke designed portable surfaces, giving disabled people new opportunities to get involved at times and places that are convenient to them.
Also represented at the event was London Youth Rowing, accompanied by coaching staff and Olympic Silver medallist Mark Hunter.
The project hosted a competition using rowing machines connected to a big screen, so participants could track their progress.
London Youth Rowing was awarded £1,997,310 to develop and deliver a network of 110 satellite clubs linking to 11 hub (community) clubs in targeted boroughs across London by 2017, including coaching for young disabled people.
Guests were also able to watch a video which highlighted three other projects to benefit from Sport England funding and the impact it is having on the lives of disabled people taking part in sport.