Friday 10 November 2017
Former Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health and now the International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt MP has unveiled plans for a pioneering cross-sector scheme to give disabled people and those with long-term health conditions better access to physical activity opportunities.
The cross-sector initiative – to be led by ukactive, Sport England, Disability Rights UK and the English Federation of Disability Sport – will aim to remove barriers to physical activity for disabled people so they can tap into its myriad benefits.
Speaking at the ukactive National Summit in Westminster last week (November 1st) the former Minister said:
“The aim of this partnership is to create a cultural shift and change in perceptions around disabled people’s participation in physical activity, and to create a national ambition within the physical activity sector to become more inclusive for disabled people.
In order to accomplish this, the partnership is developing a project which will take an holistic approach to the sector.
The scheme will identify the baseline of current activity levels, facility usage and sector engagement, and bring together insight from disabled people and operators within the sector. It will explore the customer journey that disabled people experience and – as The Minister noted detail “the difficulties disabled people experience in participating in physical activity”.
The initiative will also create flagship sites with six operators – PureGym, David Lloyd Leisure, Everyone Active, Virgin Active, Greenwich Leisure Limited and Places for People – who were praised by the Minister for supporting the development of the scheme. They will test, validate, and promote the changes that can be made to improve disabled people’s active use of leisure facilities.
Kamran Mallick, CEO of Disability Rights UK, said:
“Disabled people are less active because they have traditionally been excluded from the leisure industry and other physical activity provision. They have told us that the barriers they face include lack of information, support and physical access. We look forward to being part of this partnership with ukactive, Sport England and English Federation of Disability Sport to break down the barriers that exclude us.
“At Disability Rights UK we work hard to ensure that disabled people have the same rights as others to live good lives and play an equal part in society. We feel that our involvement in this exciting new partnership will help us towards achieving this vision.
“I look forward to the work the partnership will do to open up leisure facilities to all disabled people, it signals a positive change in approaches to engaging disabled people which we are really happy to see. On a personal level, I look forward to being able to go into leisure facilities and actually use the equipment and activities available.”
For further information, please contact ukactive Head of Communications Jak Phillips on 07958 119320, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org