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- 17 April 2014 00:00
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A number of disability sport projects across the country have received an £8 million funding boost thanks to Sport England’s Inclusive Sport fund.
The Inclusive Sport fund looks to give disabled people more opportunities to play sport by investing in organisations with the right expertise, partnerships and links to the disability sector to make this happen.
This includes funding the development and start-up of new initiatives as well as for education and training so that groups can become more self-sufficient in providing sporting opportunities.
"Record numbers of disabled people now play sport and this is thanks to the tireless energy of organisations, coaches and volunteers across the country,” said Sport England Director of Insight Lisa O’Keefe.
"We are delighted to be able to support them by awarding this funding, so that we can continue to improve opportunities and make a real difference in communities.”
One organisation to receive a share of the £8 million funding is Sense, the National Deafblind and Rubella Association, who have been awarded £250,000.
The money will allow Sense to pilot opportunities for 360 deafblind people to try out eight different sports in two regions across the country.
It will also fund the training of 16 sports coaches, eight deafblind people and 120 local support workers to deliver sports activities to deafblind people.
Another to benefit is the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust.
They have received £168,141 to train support staff and carers to provide sporting opportunities for adults with mental health issues who have limited access to sport.
The funding boost comes with the number of disabled people playing sport regularly on the rise.
In December 2013, Sport England’s Active People Survey revealed that a record number of disabled people in England now play sport each week.
However, non-disabled people are still twice as likely to play sport as disabled people with 39.2% compared to 18.5%.
Sport England is hoping to close this gap and since the Inclusive Sport fund launched, £17.1 million has been invested in 88 projects that make sport a viable lifestyle choice for disabled people.
Sport England also funds disability sport equipment and recently awarded £1 million to 141 clubs to help them buy equipment that will allow disabled people to give sport a go.