Disability Sport Given £8m Boost On National Paralympic Day

Disabled people across the country will have more opportunities to get into sport thanks to £8 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England.

With disabled people only half as likely to play sport on a weekly basis compared to non-disabled, today’s announcement will help bridge the opportunity gap by investing a further £7 million through the Inclusive Sport fund and … £1 million in Get Equipped, a new disability equipment fund.

The Inclusive Sport fund will offer disabled people more opportunities to play sport by investing in organisations with good ideas and the right expertise to make this happen; while Get Equipped will address the need for specialist equipment to deliver disability sport by giving clubs the chance to apply for up to £10,000 of funding.

Welcoming the news on National Paralympic Day, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This time last year we were hosting the greatest Paralympics ever.  We saw record crowds, record-breaking performances and an inspirational focus on ability over disability.

“Now it’s six months until the Sochi Paralympic Games, three years until Rio and today we’ll find out where the 2020 Games will be held. Not everyone can be a David Weir, Ellie Simmonds or Johnnie Peacock, but London 2012 ignited an enthusiasm for sport across Britain and this funding will help secure our Paralympic legacy, giving more disabled people the opportunity to get active and enjoy sport.”

The investment announced today, builds on the work already being done by Sport England to make grassroots sport truly open to everyone.  More than £157 million is being invested in programmes and projects to increase the number of disabled people playing sport via our legacy programmes and our Youth and Community Strategy.

Sport England Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said: “Last summer’s Paralympic Games were a real game changer for disability sport but at the grassroots we need to do more to make sport a practical choice for many more disabled people. Whether or not you are the next Jonnie Peacock, if you want to play sport, we want to make sure you have access to the right facilities, equipment and coaching.”

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller said: “The Paralympics made people think about disability differently and I want to make sure that we build on that. As part of the Paralympic legacy we want to see increased opportunities for disabled people to get involved in sport and ensure we have the funding to support that ambition. This £8 million of public funding will go towards disability sport projects up and down the country and provide essential equipment to get more disabled people participating.”

With 44 projects sharing in £10.2 million of Inclusive Sport funding in round one, Inclusive Sport funding is already making a difference in the lives of disabled people including 30-year-old Julie, who has cerebral palsy. She discovered rowing thanks to Oundle Town Rowing Club’s outreach programme that introduces the sport to disabled people across Northamptonshire using rowing machines and on the water training.

With little movement in her arms and legs prior to starting, the indoor rowing sessions have helped Julie increase her mobility and after nine sessions she is rowing on the machines without support and has progressed to taking part in water sessions.

Steve Rustage, Oundle Town Rowing Club Development Officer, said: “Over the past few years we have been limited to working with just a few disabled young people. With the funding we received from Sport England, we’ve been able to go out into day centres, colleges and schools to help disabled people like Julie get involved in sport. By the end of the year we hope to have introduced over 800 disabled people from across Northamptonshire to rowing, both indoor and outdoor.”

Sport England is also working with Sainsbury’s on the Active Kids for All Inclusive Community Training programme to improve the quality of sport provision for disabled people in the community.  With £1 million of Lottery funding and delivered in partnership with the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) and sports coach UK, by 2016 the programme will have trained 10,000 community activity leaders and coaches to deliver confident, sports-based grassroots sessions for disabled people.

Charles Reed, Chair of EFDS, said: “The announcement by Sport England of this latest £8 million investment is great news for grassroots disability sport.  Coming one year after the extraordinary success of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and taken in the context of other important development programmes such as Active Kids for All, this new funding clearly demonstrates the commitment and determination that exists to grow disability sports participation amongst all age groups.”

A series of workshops will take place throughout September to help organisations understand the fund and how they can apply.  The workshops will be taking place at:

  • Tuesday 17 September, Peterborough
  • Thursday 19 September, Newcastle
  • Friday 20 September, London
  • Tuesday 1 October, Bristol
  • Wednesday 2 October, Nottingham
  • Thursday 3 October, Portsmouth


To register for one of the workshops email inclusivesport@sportengland.org and tell us which date you would like to attend.

Get Equipped

The Get Equipped fund will open on the 7 October.  To find out more, click here