Disability sport gets £8 million National Lottery cash boost

The symbol of the Paralympic Games , The Agitos is placed on the roundabout at the main entrance to Stoke Mandeville Hospital
The symbol of the Paralympic Games , The Agitos is placed on the roundabout at the main entrance to Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Disabled people across Aylesbury Vale and beyond will have more opportunities to get into sport thanks to £8 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England.

Disabled people across Aylesbury Vale and beyond 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 according to statistics, the funding will help tackle the opportunity gap by investing £7 million through the Inclusive Sport fund and £1 million in Get Equipped, a new disability equipment fund.

So far four organisations have benefitted, none of which are from the Vale, which is home to Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual bithplace of the Paralympic movement. And Sport England chief executive, Jennie Price, said last summer’s Paralympics was a ‘real game changer’ for disability sport as a whole.

“At the grassroots we need to do much more to make sport a practical choice for many more disabled people.

“You might not be the next Johnnie Peacock, but if you have a disability and want to play sport, it’s just as important that you have access to facilities, equipment and coaching.”

The second round of Inclusive Sport funding will open in October and will allow for more organisations with ‘good ideas and the right expertise’ the chance to open up sport for disabled people.

Clubs and organisations in the Vale and surrounding areas can put forward their cases for funding as part of the money dedicated to the South East.

To help organisations understand the fund and how they can apply a workshop will be held at the Holiday Inn in Portsmouth on October 3 at 2pm.

Space on the workshop is limited and organisations must register their attendance by emailing inclusivesport@sportengland.org

Four projects in the South East have already benefitted from £685,000 of Inclusive Sport funding.

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.”