Get yourself active blog

Just Ride Southend

30 August 2018

Are you looking for a fun and affordable way to get fit and active and you live in Southend…..

Just Ride Southend runs regular drop‑in inclusive cycling sessions for people of all ages and abilities. Based at Southend Leisure & Tennis Centre at Garon Park, they provide a safe traffic-free experience with specially adapted cycles to cater for all disabilities or health conditions. Their aim is to provide a safe fun experience for everyone.

For more details of their activities check them out here

In other news British Blind Sport Have a Go Day South Wales

International Workshop on Cycling Training

30 August 2018

An International Workshop on Delivering Cycling Training and Activity Sessions for Disabled People will take place at University College London on Tuesday, 11th of September 2018.

The workshop will focus on the delivery of inclusive cycling activities/training based on the experiences in the UK, Netherlands and Japan. The workshop topics will include: instructor training, developing a guideline for delivering inclusive cycling training, inclusive transport planning and improving perceptions of disabled people, parents, carers and cycling instructors on the current provision of inclusive cycling activities. The workshop will cover cycling activity provision for a variety of impairments and ages.

This event will be a great opportunity to discuss the current situation of cycling delivery for disabled people and to network with academics and practitioners from Japan and the Netherlands involved in disability cycling, as well as other UK-based organisations.

The workshop is free to attend.

RSVP and a full list of guest speakers can be found here

In other news Deaf Tennis Festival and Deaf National Championships 2018

Dawid is proving Disabled People can get into fitness

30 August 2018

Dawid  Reszczynski is a remarkable person. Originally from Poland and born with cerebral palsy, he along with his family came to live in the UK eleven years ago.

As early as 14 Dawid fell in love with keeping fit and he started working out at his local gym, Henbury Leisure Centre. He found a natural home there, and while still a teenager was able to secure a work experience placement with the personal training team. Dawid have since gone on to greater things, becoming a qualified fitness instructor in 2016 and even finding work at his local gym. But his ambition didn’t stop there. After gaining some experience, he knew he wanted to branch out on his own. “Recently, I have been in the process of setting up my own business in gym instructing,” he says.

“The aim is to get more disabled people interested in fitness and to provide a specifically tailored and carefully thought out programme for the individuals. Through my own experiences I have built up a good range of knowledge in this area.”

Read more of Dawid’s inspiring story here

In other news New film collection highlights ways to apply ten principles in activities

Accessibility Mark Reaches Golden Milestone

29 August 2018

A national scheme to encourage more disabled people to take up horse riding has reached a golden milestone with 50 equestrian centres now holding the Accessibility Mark accreditation.

The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with riding centres with the aim of opening up more opportunities for disabled people to participate in riding.

Sparsholt College in Hampshire, signed up for the scheme following successfully meeting all the criteria set out by the RDA and completing the training to become the 50th Accessibility Mark centre.

Accessibility Mark started out as a unique pilot project in 2014 with a small number of centres contributing to equestrian sports Olympic and Paralympic legacy, to build on the phenomenal rise in awareness of disability sport that London 2012 created.

The idea behind commercial riding centres attaining the accreditation is to encourage them to open their doors to more disabled riders after extensive research found that there is a high unmet demand for riding opportunities for disabled people.

With many centres already providing riding lessons to disabled people the accreditation also offers the centre and its staff support, giving advice and guidance drawing on the extensive expertise of the RDA on everything from appropriate lesson planning to the use of specialist equipment.

Lead Accessibility Mark Support Officer, Lizzie Hill said: “When we launched the project four years ago we knew there were centres who felt they needed more support but we couldn’t predict how popular they would become.

“The centres we work with are really trying to open their doors to more disabled clients and we are definitely seeing a difference in numbers of people taking up the sport, and also a growth in confidence of those centres we work with.”

The golden milestone is particularly significant as the RDA head in to their 50th anniversary year in 2019, with events planned throughout the year, including the opening of the new National Training Centre.

Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that they offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure they provide you with a first class service and an experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.

There are currently 50 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country.

To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit www.rda.org.uk

In other news: Sparsholt College Equestrian Becomes the 50th Centre to Gain Accessibility Mark Accreditation.

Most successful World Championships for British Wheelchair Basketball

28 August 2018

Issued by Activity Alliance

The men’s and women’s GB Wheelchair Basketball teams have dominated the 2018 World Championships held in Hamburg, Germany this month. Both squads return home with twenty four medals in their hand luggage.

The GB Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team claim the 2018 World Championships Crown in a dramatic final game showdown against the USA.

In what was undoubtedly a battle of the wheelchair basketball titans as Paralympic Bronze medalist GB met Gold Medalist the USA in the final game of the 2018 World Championships. The USA side having served GB their only defeat in an otherwise unblemished tournament record during the pool stages.

Phil Pratt’s men left their hearts on the Hamburg court in the final as they delivered a commanding and unstoppable performance – the numbers speak for themselves with George Bates, Harry Brown, Gregg Warburton, Phil Pratt and Lee Manning all adding to the GB points tally. Bates achieving an incredible 87% FG average and Pratt making 12 assists.

Seeing the gold within their sights the GB men ratcheted up the pressure in the final quarter and cleared a strong seventeen point win. It was an emotional moment for Head Coach’s Haj Bhania’s team who headed to Hamburg with the singular mission of bringing home the gold.

Much has been said about the changing of the guard within his World Championship squad but ultimately what they brought to court was a true GB team through and through.

Following the win, Captain Phil Pratt, commented:

“Unbelievable feeling right now – to beat some of my idols growing up like Steve Serio and Matt Scott – these guys were my role models growing up and I used to watch hours and hours of their games.

“To beat them by 17 points in the final is unbelievable – I don’t think they’ve lost a game for nearly four years, so to be the team that break that streak, wow. We are such a young team – but we are good friends. This showed on the floor when times got tough – we dug in deep and knew it would come good at the end. As a team our future as a team is huge.”

The British Wheelchair Basketball’s GB Performance Programme can rightfully be proud of its squad today – the men’s senior, men’s junior and women’s junior teams all now hold current World Championship titles and our GB women holding the silver.

History has been made at the 2018 World Championships with the GB men having won their first ever World Championships and the women securing their first ever place at a final and silver medal at a major.

With yesterday marking exactly two years until the Tokyo Paralympics the future is looking very good for British Wheelchair Basketball.

Play awards

  • All Star Women: Helen Freeman
  • MVP Tournament (Men): Gregg Warburton

Tournament results

In other news: Congratulations to British Wheelchair Basketball! To find out how you can get active in your local area. Click here. 

International Skating Union (ISU) recognises Inclusive Skating

28 August 2018

Issued by Inclusive Skating

The International Skating Union has made a major decision that will change the face of ice skating for the disabled and disabled sport in general.

The ISU have accepted and recognised the Inclusive Skating event format. This is the first official recognition given to Inclusive Skating by the sport’s international governing body and paves the way for worldwide competitive disabled skating.

The Inclusive Skating event structure was first piloted in 2012 and featured on BBC news. Since then it has been refined and now allows skaters with any disability to compete safely and fairly. Inclusive Skating’s classification model converts all disabilities into an impairment percentage. This gives an impairment score which is added to the skater’s performance score. So, when the final result is calculated all skaters are put on a level playing field.

This means the model can evaluate all skaters fairly and equally. The Glasgow 2019 International event has been sanctioned and features on the official ISU calendar for the first time. Consequently, all ISU eligible skaters and officials are permitted and encouraged to take part in any current and future Inclusive Skating events.

“This marks a major milestone in the Inclusive Skating journey and we would like to thank the ISU for their cooperation and support. We hope that they enjoy being part of the Inclusive Skating community as much as we do!”, said Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Founder and Chair of Inclusive Skating.

In other news: From Boccia to Ice Skating – It’s important to find the right activity for you!

Deaf Tennis Festival and Deaf National Championships 2018

21 August 2018

Don’t miss out on being part of the 2018 Deaf Tennis Festival and Deaf National Championships at the National Tennis Centre! The Festival and Championships are organised by national charity, the Tennis Foundation.

All the details you need are below but if you have any questions please get in touch with Liz Terry at Tennis Foundation – Email Liz Terry.

We are looking forward to a fantastic weekend of deaf tennis!

Deaf Tennis Festival

On September 15 and 16 the Tennis Foundation is running a festival of deaf tennis. There will be a range of fun events and competitions to ensure there is an activity right for everyone!

We will have fun activities for beginners which will let them try tennis, learn new skills and take part with friends, siblings and parents – these activities are for everyone, not just those who are deaf.

There will be a fun competition in a Fast 4 format – this competition is only for deaf players but you can leave your hearing aids in. You don’t need to be a superstar – the focus is on enjoying tennis in a match environment!

Venue: The National Tennis Centre, 100 Priory Lane, Roehampton (London) SW15 5JQ

Dates: Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September 2018

Time: 9am start both days, Saturday we will finish activities around 5pm with the BBQ at 6pm. Sunday finish time approx. 3pm. If you are taking part in activities only you can be flexible, just book a time with us via email

Cost: Fun Competition – £10 per player / Activities only – £5 per player

All players will be given a complimentary BBQ Meal on Saturday night with player’s guests being invited to join us for £10 per person

To book: Email Liz Terry

Accommodation: There is limited accommodation onsite at the National Tennis Centre at £48 per person per night (you will share a room with someone else).  This can be booked on a first come, first served basis via Liz Terry – Email Liz Terry.

Deaf National Championships

The Deaf National Championships will also be taking place alongside the festival. This event will see Great Britain’s best deaf players battling it out for the title of National Champion – a great spectacle!

On the Saturday evening there will also be a BBQ for everyone – a great way to make new friends.

Venue: The National Tennis Centre, 100 Priory Lane, Roehampton (London) SW15 5JQ

Dates: Friday 14 – Sunday 16 September 2018

Time: Friday qualifying or Round 1 matches to start from 4pm. Saturday and Sunday play to begin at 9.30am

Cost: Deaf Nationals Main Draw Competition – £25 per player

All players will be given a complimentary BBQ Meal on Saturday night with player’s guests being invited to join us for £10 per person

To enter: Visit Online entry for Deaf National Tennis Championships 2018

Accommodation: There is limited accommodation onsite at the National Tennis Centre at £48 per person per night (you will share a room with someone else.) This can be booked on a first come, first served basis via Liz Terry – Email Liz Terry.

In other news: Leadership programme calling for Disabled People involved in football

New film collection highlights ways to apply Ten Principles in activities

Issued by Activity Alliance                                                                         21 August 2018

Yesterday Activity Alliance, supported by Sport England, released five Ten Principles in action films. Following on from the first film released in June that introduced the Principles, viewers meet Shay, TP, Tony, Anthony and Hannah. The latest collection guides providers on how they too could apply the principles in their own activities.


The five disabled people talk about how activity fits into their life and what it means to them to be active. Each film pinpoints two principles out of the ten to demonstrate how these work in action.

Activity Alliance worked for the first time with Manchester based production company Viva La Zoom to create the stories that highlight the ten principles in action. We will introduce each film from Monday to Friday this week. First up was thirteen-year-old Shay on Monday, followed by TP, Tony, Anthony and Hannah.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for Activity Alliance said:
“Whilst many providers already offer opportunities for disabled people to take part, the high number of disabled people who are inactive remains a major cause for concern. Disabled people told us that, too often, they are unaware of opportunities available to them or said that what is offered is not appealing or accessible enough.

“These films provide a range of ideas on how we can all make opportunities attractive and inclusive. What’s clear from our experience of applying the principles is that they can be adapted to all audiences but include some considerations which are particularly important to successfully engaging disabled people.”

In October 2014, Activity Alliance (under its former name the English Federation of Disability Sport) released the Talk to Me report. This report outlines ten principles developed with disabled people that sports providers should follow to help make their activities more appealing.

The report and its principles have been key pieces for Activity Alliance. Not only are they now widely used across the sector and at the heart of new programmes like Get Out Get Active, the principles were positively referenced in the Government’s 2015 strategy, Sporting Future.

The Ten Principles in action films are available on Activity Alliance’s YouTube Channel. To watch Shay, TP, Tony, Anthony, Hannah and Tony’s stories visit the playlist here.

For more information about the Ten Principles and Talk to Me report, visit our research page, or contact news@activityalliance.org.uk.

Find more information on Activity Alliance on our website www.activityalliance.org.uk

In other news:Activity Alliance releases Ten Principles film.

British Blind Sport Have a Go Day South Wales

17 August 2018

British Blind Sport are delighted to announce a Have a Go Day in South Wales.

Come along and take part in an entirely free day of sport and activities including Judo, Guide Running, Football, Tennis and many more. Open to anyone with a visual impairment aged 5 and up. Friends and family are also welcome. Register for the Have a Go Day in South Wales.

Working in with Sport Cardiff and Cardiff Institute for the Blind, this event will take place at Cardiff House of Sport, Cardiff on Saturday 29th September. A number of successful events have already been held this year including Cambridge, London, Liverpool and Surrey. Here’s what other participants had to say:

“We had an amazing day altogether in the family. It was great to have both my VI children and their siblings involved as it made the day much more fun. Thank you for organising!’ Parent of participants, Have a Go Day Surrey

When and Where

Venue: Cardiff House of Sport, Clos Parc Morgannwg, Cardiff CF11 8AW

Date: Saturday 29th September 12:30 to 5pm

 Get Involved!

Register for the Have a Go Day in South Wales

For further details please contact Alex Pitts, Participation Officer on telephone:  07929 356428 or email alex@britishblindsport.org.uk

In other news: British Blind Sport are also organizing a Have a Go Day in Bristol!

Sparsholt College Equestrian Becomes the 50th Centre to Gain Accessibility Mark Accreditation

17 August 2018

Sparsholt College in Hampshire is delighted to have secured Accessibility Mark accreditation to expand its services to disabled people.

The college joined forces with Andover RDA group in 2017 and have recently expanded on this by becoming an Accessibility Mark Centre.

The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with riding centres with the aim of opening up more opportunities for disabled people to participate in riding.

The college offers a wide range of equine programs especially designed to enable both adults and children to develop their skills, improve their awareness, communication and confidence.  This combined with the numerous therapeutic benefits of riding to help individuals become stronger and more supple within a community of like-minded people is a fantastic way to widen participation in the sport.

Through the Accessibility Mark Centre initiative, the college has been able to successfully train its coaches’, all of whom already hold BHS coaching qualifications, to be a part of this life-transforming venture.

Gabbie McHenry, the Equine Centre Manager explained, ‘Many of the college’s full-time equine students enjoyed being a part of the RDA group sessions last year, gaining valuable experience in volunteering as ride leaders, side walkers and training to become coaches themselves. This opportunity allowed Sparsholt students an insight into working alongside others who have difficulties and disabilities which they found not only rewarding but inspiring too.’

The college will continue to work closely with the RDA to gain further training and advice.  However, by becoming an Accessibility Mark Centre, the hope is that this will enable more students to join as volunteers and become involved in a variety of ways.  The centre will also be able to host additional lessons and expand the offer beyond the current weekly group lesson.

Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by the RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that they offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure they provide you with a first class service and an experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.

For further information contact Sparsholt College Equine Centre on 01962 776895 or visit https://www.sparsholt.ac.uk/college/equine-centre/

There are currently 50 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country.

To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit www.rda.org.uk

In other news: Want more information on physical activity and sports? then look at this web page.

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