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- 11 February 2014 00:00
- in Paralympics
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- Last Modified: 11 February 2014 06:18
Over £1 million of sports equipment for disabled people will arrive on the doorsteps of organisations across the country thanks to 141 funding awards by Sport England.
The equipment for sports such as boccia, canoeing, sailing and shooting is set open up sporting opportunities for thousands of disabled people across the country.
The funding awards come from Sport England’s ‘Get Equipped’ fund that was designed to build on the success of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
It acknowledges that, despite the huge success of the Paralympics, many organisations and clubs delivering sport struggle to provide sporting opportunities for disabled people because of a lack of access to specialist equipment.
The right equipment for disability sport often creates a high demand for people to get involved in sport and the new £1.1 million of funding to organisations across England will allow them to provide that specialist equipment in order to help make sport a practical choice for more disabled people.
"A record number of disabled people now regularly take part in sport and the overwhelming response to this fund shows the strength of support from clubs and organisations to keep this momentum going,” said Sport England’s Director of Insight Lisa O’Keefe.
"We are therefore delighted to be making these awards, opening up many more sporting opportunities to disabled people across England.”
Sport England received 236 requests for funding totalling £1.8 million which illustrates the huge demand for specialist equipment.
The quantity and quality of applications has led to an increase on the original budget for ‘Get Equipped’ with an additional £100,000 being invested through this programme.
Some of the most popular requests were for equipment for wheelchair basketball, cycling, rowing, sailing and athletics.
The number of disabled people playing sport regularly is now 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.
The number of disabled people aged 16 and over playing sport once a week has increased by 62,000 over the last year, bringing the total number to its highest recorded figure of 1.67 million.
This is 351,000 more than in 2005 when London won the bid to host the Games.
However, non-disabled people are still twice as likely to play sport as disabled people with 39.2% compared to 18.5%.
Therefore ‘Get Equipped’ is part of Sport England’s strategy to open up opportunities for disabled people to play sport.
Around £50 million has already been committed to increasing opportunities, improving facilities, training coaches and providing equipment and over the next year, Sport England will invest over £7 million to continue this work.
In addition, the 42 National Governing Bodies of Sport have received over £100 million of investment to deliver dedicated disability programmes and inclusive participation programmes with the aim of increasing the number of disabled people playing their sport by 2017.