Get yourself active blog

Inclusive Sports Programme Ends Successful Year With An Award Win

Friday 7 December 2018

The Sport For Confidence programme at the Feel Good Centre in Waltham Forest has been announced the winner of the ‘Services to Inclusive Sport ‘award at the Waltham Forest Feel Good Sport Awards 2018.

Jack Edgar and Cllr Chris Robbins

The award marks the end of a successful 12 months for the programme which was first introduced in September 2017, thanks to a funding grant awarded by The London Borough of Waltham Forest.

 

Sport For Confidence is a social enterprise which provides sporting opportunities to individuals who face barriers to participation.

Sessions are open to all and are run by an Occupational Therapist working alongside a sports coach. Through close collaboration with other local organisations, such as the Social Prescribing Team, community nursing teams, the Falls Prevention Service, carer centres, Waltham Forest Council and a range of other Allied Health Professionals,  Sport For Confidence is welcoming participation from around 200 individuals per month, most of whom have not previously engaged with the leisure centre.

Sinead Kelly, the Occupational Therapist responsible for the programme’s delivery at The Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre, says:

“The model of practice we have created enables those who face barriers to participation to engage in physical activity, regardless of their ability. This is an environment where individuals are treated as individuals  and supported to overcome any obstacles so that they can reach personal goals and milestones.

“Currently, we have individuals who attend sessions that identify as having a learning disability, mobility issues, long term health conditions and mental health difficulties. Many of our participants have never set foot in a leisure centre before coming to us, so it is fantastic to see them enjoy being active and making the most of the services and facilities on offer”.

The Sport For Confidence programme continues to expand its offer, creating even more opportunities for people to enjoy physical activity. Recently, in association with Carers First, Sport For Confidence introduced ‘dementia friendly’, but not dementia exclusive, seated exercise sessions. These sessions encourage carers to be active alongside individuals in their care. Sport For Confidence has also started to utilise the extreme park facilities, using trampolines to deliver fun fitness sessions to promote better cardiovascular health.

Speaking about the programme’s success, Cllr Naheed Asghar, Cabinet Member for Sports and Voluntary Sector Partnerships, at Waltham Forest Council, says:

“The opportunity to take part in sport, exercise and physical activity should be available for everyone in our community. The huge effort that Sport for Confidence puts in to open up these chances to those who may not otherwise feel able to take part is inspiring. I am proud to congratulate them as the winners of our ‘Services to Inclusive Sport’ category at the annual Waltham Forest Sports Awards, and look forward to seeing the group continue their vitally important work.”

Currently, Sport For Confidence runs Boccia sessions on a Thursday, 11.30am-12.15pm and 2pm-3pm, plus  Fridays 11.30am – 12.30pm. A  multisports session runs on a Friday at 1.30pm-2.30pm followed by a and a pool-based ‘Aqua For Confidence’ session. The trampoline sessions run on a Thursday ,10.30-11.15am followed by seated exercise sessions, 12.30pm-1.30pm.

This month, Sport For Confidence has also been awarded; Winner of Swim England’s, national ‘ David Sparkes OBE Innovation Award’ and winner of ’Services To Inclusive Sport’ by Active Braintree.

Whatever the activity, everybody is welcome at Sport For Confidence sessions. For more information, contact Sinead on 07543742407 or email sinead@sportforconfidence.com.

In other news: Get Yourself Active holds its first workshop for Social Workers in Essex

Exciting Plans for Accessibility Mark and Disabled Access Day

Wednesday 21 November 2018

The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is encouraging Accessibility Mark centres to hold events for Disabled Access Day 2019 to help introduce more disabled people to horse riding.

 Disabled Access Day was launched in 2015 to create opportunities for disabled people to try something new, highlighting the fantastic facilities that already exist at venues, as well as a friendly welcome.

According to Activity Alliance almost 20% of the population in the UK have some form of disability and seven out of ten disabled people would like to be more active.

Finding new opportunities to enjoy sport and activities can be a daunting prospect, especially if it is something that people haven’t tried before and horse riding has been shown to have many benefits for both physical and mental health and well-being.

Taking place on March 16, 2019, participating centres are encouraged to hold special events where disabled people can come and interact with the horses and discover the benefits of riding and possibly enjoy a free taster session.

Centres are also encouraged to create a listing on Euan’s Guide, which is a disabled access review website. This will also act as a search engine for people looking for Disabled Access Day events and helps disabled people research whether a venue is suitable for them in advance. Events will also be published on the Disabled Access Day website from January 2019.

Paul Ralph, Founder of Disabled Access Day said:

“It’s great to have the support of RDA’s Accessibility Mark for 2019. I am particularly excited as spending time meeting and being with horses can be enormously empowering. For this coming year I want to ensure this fabulous opportunity is open to everyone. This year Disabled Access Day is focussing on delivering events that have Changing Places Toilets on-site or nearby so that the 250K families who often miss out can take part too.”

Participating centres will highlight the availability of nearby Changing Places Toilets and you can also look them up on the Changing Places website map before visiting.

As Accessibility Mark is specifically aimed at non RDA centres the level of disability that can be catered for varies from centre to centre.

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 it can offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure it provides a first-class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial to riders of varying levels of disability.

There are currently 52 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: Government Consultation: Review of GCSE, AS and A level physical education activity list

What makes a good accessibility mark centre?

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Lizzie Hill was the driving force behind the original Accessibility Mark pilot scheme which aims to encourage commercial equestrian centres to open up more riding opportunities for disabled riders. Here Lizzie explains what makes a good Accessibility Mark Centre.

What Makes a Good Accessibility Mark Centre?

Lizzie Hill has been involved with the Accessibility Mark scheme from its very foundation, turning a revolutionary idea to provide training to commercial equestrian centres, to enable them to confidently teach disabled people to ride, into reality.

As the pilot project has grown into a successful nationwide scheme, Lizzie is now Accessibility Mark’s most experienced Accessibility Mark Officer (ASO), travelling the country to provide training and assessment to centres that apply for the accreditation.

There are many misconceptions about disabilities and Accessibility Mark is helping to break down barriers and establishing an inclusive environment for disabled people to participate in sport.

Part of Lizzie’s role is to challenge these misconceptions within equestrian centres to help them understand what can be achieved. But what are the elements that come together to make a good Accessibility Mark centre?

“It is really important to understand that no two centres are alike, which we were very aware of when setting out the criteria for Accessibility Mark, but at the same time there needed to be a certain standard upheld in order to be associated with RDA.” said Lizzie.

The main stipulations to meet the criteria are that instructors are qualified; that facilities fall within set guidelines; the centre must be affiliated with The British Horse Society, The Pony Club or The Association of British Riding Schools; and they must hold a valid riding school licence from their local council.

When equestrian centres apply for accreditation the ASO is there to provide support.

When centres are going through the application process, the aim of the ASO is to provide support rather than for the centres to feel they are being judged on their suitability.

Centres often assume that their facilities will not meet the guidelines if they are not fully accessible to wheelchair users, but limiting factors would not rule a centre out for accreditation. It is up to individual centres to decide the level of disability that they can work with.

“A centre may not have the resources, space or wish to install a mounting ramp, but if they have other suitable mounting facilities for riders who can manage to walk up steps, this would still enable them to achieve their accreditation.” explained Lizzie.

“We record which centres are able to take riders who have limited mobility and require a ramp and this helps us provide the best possible service to riders by helping them choose the most appropriate place to learn to ride.”

Without a doubt the horses are the most important factor in whether a centre can achieve Accessibility Mark status, however, there is no such thing as the perfect RDA or Accessibility Mark horse.

“When assessing the horses I look for genuine all-rounders and work with the centre to look at the characteristics of their current equine workforce. It is important to give the instructors confidence that a lot of the challenges that the horses may face with riders with disabilities are no different to that of any range of riding school clients.”

During a practical training session, the ASO will work with instructors and helpers and three or four of the centre’s horses, going through different mounting techniques, leading and side walking and getting them used to a range of unpredictable behaviour.

“It is often during this training that staff are surprised and pleased at how versatile the horses are.” added Lizzie.

The backbone of most successful centres is its team of volunteers and Lizzie encourages all centres to try and establish a group of helpers, who all have to undergo the compulsory training, to assist in the preparation and delivery of Accessibility Mark sessions.

Accessibility Mark is helping to break down barriers and establish an exclusive environment for disabled people to participate in sport

A good centre is one that embraces the fact that Accessibility Mark sessions may take a little longer and seeks to create a rapport with existing clients by asking them to support riders riding under the Accessibility Mark banner.

How centres run their Accessibility Mark sessions is entirely up to them but an open- minded approach is key to making the scheme work, with some having dedicated sessions while others integrate Accessibility Mark clients into their existing groups.

Said Lizzie: “I find that instructors are nervous of doing or saying the wrong thing but once reminded that they should teach what they see in front of them and as long as appropriate rider history is sought, the session should be run just as any other lesson.”

“A good relationship between the centre and its ASO, with open dialogue, is essential to making sure clients gain maximum benefit.”

“Asking for help and guidance on lesson planning and progression helps staff to focus on the individual needs of the rider to achieve their goals, whether it is a therapeutic rider or a rider with ambitions to compete.

“A willingness to work with local RDA Groups is also beneficial to ensure riders get the best possible experience, as some riders will be better suited to a dedicated RDA Group while others will excel in an Accessibility Mark session.

“It is so pleasing to hear of riders that have been waiting on the RDA group waiting list now happily riding regularly at an Accessibility Mark centre. We just aim to achieve more of these successes.” said Lizzie.

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.

There are currently 52 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: Four million Britons get active as result of milestone National Fitness Day

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

Leadership programme calling for Disabled People involved in football

16 August 2018

Leadership programme calling for Disabled people involved in football.The Integrated Dreams Association is pleased to announce the Football for ALL leadership Programme. The programme aims to be the first course to promote employability and entrepreneurship of Disabled people in the world of football. Are you, or someone you know, involved in football and would like the opportunity?

Football for all logo

For the development of the project, the organisers are working  in partnership with three academic reference entities in Europe (Nova University of Lisbon, Trinity College Dublin and the IUN World International Fooball Institute, from Munique), as well as the Portuguese Football Association (FPF) and the SL Benfica Foundation.

The course plan includes two weeks of on-site classes to be held in Lisbon, from 26 November to 7 December 2018 and six months of project implementation or professional internship, taking place in the local region of the participant.

You can register and access more information on the official website of the programme or through the contact line of the programme here https://www.integrated-dreams.com/football-for-all-leadership-programme . Contact telephone: + 351 96 740 57 44

In other news Greater Manchester Moving are looking for a Programme Manager for their Local Delivery Pilot

British Blind Sport Have a Go Day Bristol

16 August 2018

British Blind Sport are organizing a Go Day programme in Bristol!  Working in partnership with Wesport and Vision West of England.

Open to anyone with a visual impairment aged 5 and up, including their friends and siblings, come along and take part in an entirely free day of activities including Cricket, Football, Guide Running and many more!

Last year a number of successful similar events took place across the UK. Here’s what other participants had to say:

“I found it amazing! The things I thought I couldn’t do, I actually could. Especially cycling for the first time in 11 years. I felt the wind on my face as we moved around the track. Really enjoyed the day and look forward to the next.” Participant, Have a Go Day Leicester

When and Where

Venue: Bristol Grammar School Sports Hall, University Road, Bristol BS8 1SR

Date: Saturday 15th September, 11am-4pm

Get Involved!

Register for the Have a Go Day in Bristol.  For further details please contact Alex Pitts, Participation Officer on telephone:  07929 356428 or email alex@britishblindsport.org.uk

In other news Indoor Games and Soft Sports in Sheffied!

Vacancy: Research and Evaluation Advisor needed at Activity Alliance

Tuesday 31 July 2018

Activity Alliance are moving into a new era in their history and are looking to expand their research and insight team by appointing a new proactive and self-motivated research and evaluation advisor. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 3 August 2018

The successful candidate will have a strong research background and be comfortable working on both qualitative and quantitative research projects. You will be able to analyse and interpret data as well as offer advice to internal and external customers.

The organisation offers 26 days holiday plus bank holiday, pension contribution at 9 per cent, childcare vouchers and cycle to work scheme. Activity Alliance is an equal opportunities employer and aims to provide a discrimination-free working environment.

Download Research and Evaluation Advisor job description.

How to apply
To apply for this post please complete and return an application form along with the equal opportunities form.

You should return your completed application by email to jobs@activityalliance.org.uk.

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 3 August 2018.

Interviews will be held in Manchester on Wednesday 15 August 2018.

If you do not hear from us about an interview, please presume your application has been unsuccessful.

For any queries or support with filling out your application, please call Joan Massie on 01509 227750 or email Joan Massie.

In other news: Members wanted for Sheffield International Venues Disability Inclusion Steering Group

 

Disability Rights UK is working with the Care Quality Commission as part of their ‘Tell Us About Your Care’ partnership.

Monday 30 July 2018

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is working with several national charities to gather feedback from people who contact them about their experiences of care.

This information is valuable to them as it helps them to make decisions about when, where and what to inspect.

Michael Paul from Disability Rights UK said:

“It’s vital that disabled people and those with long term health conditions can share their experience of using not only specialist services but also GP surgeries, dentists and the like. The partnership with CQC, who regulate these services, will ensure more disabled people are able to do so.”

The CQC website can be accessed here, and you can also provide direct feedback to the CQC on your experience of using any of the services they regulate.

NB please remember to select Disability Rights UK in the ‘how heard’ section!

Good Care, Poor Care. Tell us now

Good Care, Poor Care. Tell us now

We're working together to ensure health and social care services in England provide you with high quality care so tell us about your care.

We’re working together to ensure health and social care services in England provide you with high quality care so tell us about your care.

In other news: Get Yourself Active reacts to Sport England statement on why sport for disabled people matters

Vacancy: Metro Blind Sport are recruiting for a Sport Development Officer

Monday 30 July 2018

Metro Blind Sport currently has a vacancy for a Sport Development Officer. The application closing date is the 17 August 2018.

Job Description

Job Title:  Sport Development Officer for Metro Blind Sport

Responsible to:  Metro CEO

Salary:  Competitive

Location:  Primarily working across the Greater London area, utilising office space at the Pocklington Hub in Euston and with opportunities to work from home.

Contract / Hours:  Permanent contract – 36 per week worked flexibly including some evenings and weekends.

Purpose:  To develop and implement a sports programme, increasing the range, quality and local availability of sporting opportunities for visually impaired people across greater London.

View the full Job Description here:  http://bit.ly/SDOJobDescPage

Click the below links for all the documents needed to apply for the above role. All links will download a word document.

Email your completed forms, plus any other attachments, to applications@pocklington-trust.org.uk

Good luck!

In other news: Disability Rights UK is looking for new trustees to join its board from January 2019

Join British Blind Sport for their ‘Have a Go Day’ in Newcastle

Thursday 26 July 2018

We are delighted to inform you of a British Blind Sport Have a Go Day in Newcastle. Working with Sight Service and Smile Through Sport, this event will take place at The Parks Sport Centre, Tyne and Wear, NE29 6TL on Friday 31st August.

Attendees can expect a FREE sports taster event with lots of activities and fun including Cricket, Archery, Athletics and many more! Open to anyone with a visual impairment aged 5 and up, adults and children, friends and family are welcome.

Please find the event information attached.

To register, visit the Events page of the British Blind Sport website or use the link below.

Register online now for the Have a Go Day in Newcastle

For further details please contact Participation Officer, Alex Pitts on 01926 424 247, mobile 07929 356 428 or email Alex@britishblindsport.org.uk.

In other news: Members wanted for Sheffield International Venues Disability Inclusion Steering Group

 

British Blind Sport is seeking a Treasurer to join their Board of Trustees

Thursday 19th July 2018

Warwickshire based British Blind Sport are seeking a Treasurer to join their Board of Trustees.

The voluntary position will be at their Leamington Spa and  the successful candidate would need to be available to attend four quarterly board meetings as well as providing ongoing support and advise for the charity throughout the year.

To apply, please send your CV including references with a covering letter explaining why you are perfect for the role to:- Alaina MacGregor, Chief Executive Officer, British Blind Sport, Pure Offices, Plato Close, Tachbrook Business Park, Leamington Spa CV34 6WE or via email chiefexec@britishblindsport.org.uk.

The closing date to apply is 27th July 2018, 1pm.

In other news: Members wanted for Sheffield International Venues Disability Inclusion Steering Group

 

 

parkrun UK teaming up with disability organisations will be great as well

Friday 22 June 2018

By Iyiola Olafimiyan

parkrun are doing great things across the world and in the UK. Evidence shows their well-run weekend activities in parks across the country have benefited many people – including disabled people.

Runners at parkrun

The organisation is teaming up with royal college of GPs and getting GP surgeries to encourage their patients, staff and carers to get active. This is a positive development and, as this article highlights, will save the NHS loads of money.

However, running and other physical activities bring more than just medical or wellbeing benefits to disabled people.

Whilst the good people at parkrun are doing great things getting more people running in parks across the country, it would be good if they could start forming alliances with projects and organisations that embed their practices in the social model of disability and equality.

‘Disability’ from the social model perspective is about an activity or environment that has been planned without involving disabled people.

We at GYA endorse this partnership with the GPs and the Royal College and indeed many disabled people will often visit their surgeries as patients. However, developing partnerships with organisations that speak up for disabled people and linking them in a 3 way relationship with GPs will have an impact that goes far beyond just organising events in parks.

The partnership will benefit everyone. Doctors and other health related professionals will understand the importance of listening to disabled people and not just making assumptions. Volunteers and organisers of park runs will understand that different impairment groups have different access needs and work with their organisations to offer practical solutions to these needs.

Finally, disabled people themselves will feel empowered and valued. They will not necessarily view themselves as patients who are always sick, but ordinary citizens who value the health and wellbeing benefits of being part of a community of active people in their local parks.

In other news: Disability Rights UK’s challenge to the tech industry- how tech can get more disabled people moving!

UKSA announce British Team heading to Paris for first Inas European Summer Games

Friday 8th of June

Britain’s best athletes cross the channel in July to take on some of the World’s best at the inaugural Inas Summer Games as part of the UK Sports Association (UKSA) Great Britain Team.  

UKSA is proud to announce its athletics, cycling and swimming Teams, with further announcements in Tennis, in collaboration with the Tennis Foundation to follow. 

British representation spans the 4 sports of athletics, cycling, tennis and swimming and includes previous internationals Declan Manning and Nathan Fleetwood as well as six others making their GB international debuts for UKSA.

Supported by a dedicated team of coaching professionals, expectations are high as athletes continue to prepare to demonstrate their sporting prowess.

Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive, UK Sports Association comments  “We really have seen some excellent performances from the British Team already” comments

“We set competitive standards for the event and this has without a doubt shown that British athletes are ready to rise the challenges that this performance environment will throw at them”.

“The Inas Summer Games will be challenging, but we have selected a Team of strong talented athletes who are ready to do the job. We have a dedicated group of coaches supporting the Team and I am delighted that one of those coaches is a former Paralympian who started his career as an Inas competitor. Congratulations to all athletes and coaches on their selection to the UKSA GB Team.”

The UK Sports Association (UKSA) is the only official Great Britain member of Inas, the International Federation for athletes with intellectual impairment, Down syndrome and autism.

Hosted by Fédération Française du Sport Adapté on behalf of Inas Europe, the Inas Summer Games will take place in Paris, France from 14 July to 22 July 2018.  With 9 sports in contention, it is expected that over 1000 participants will take part.

The Championships will incorporate the Inas European Championships in Athletics and Swimming and the Inas World Championships in Cycling and Tennis.

In other news DR UK  is now recruiting runners for the Great North Run 2018

Great North Run Half Marathon 2018- Run for Disability Rights UK

Tuesday 5 June 2018

DR UK is now recruiting runners for the Great North Run 2018 and we need you! Taking place on the 9th September 2018, it’s officially the world’s biggest half marathon!

Are you eager to make a difference? Ready to make a change for the people with disabilities across to UK?

We are devoted to campaigning to strengthen and protect disabled people’s rights and you can help us to raise money to support the work we do. The money that you raise goes straight back into the work the charity does in supporting disabled people across the UK. We receive no government funding for our core work so the money raised really does make a difference!

Join #teamDRUK and apply to take part in the half marathon today!

If you would like to apply, please email chelsey.french@disabilityrightsuk.org to request an application form- final deadline for applications is 29th June 2018.

REGISTRATION FEE: £50 *fully refunded if you reach minimum target or over*
MINIMUM TARGET: £300

In other news: For more information about Disability Rights UK and our partners please go to this web page.

Get yourself volunteering

Friday 1 June 2018

It is Volunteers Week’ folks and Get Yourself Active (GYA)’s long term volunteer, Iyiola shares his experience so far volunteering at GYA.

“Volunteering for me is about making connections, updating and acquiring new skills and getting up and physically travelling out to make a difference”

In my last blog about volunteering, I mentioned I started a part time role that keeps me busy two and a half days a week. But I continued volunteering because I just don’t want to sit around doing nothing for the rest of the week.

I have been volunteering at GYA for close to 16 months – wow! Time does fly and it is incredible to see the massive changes that have occurred since I joined the team. The GYA project was so successful Sport England decided to extend their investment further, meaning I get to continue volunteering and enjoying working with the team. The GYA project has a new team member who now does a lot of the communication stuff, L-Boss is off on maternity leave leaving K-boss temporarily in charge.

In my sixteen months as a volunteer I have seen the team move from East Road to Disability Rights UKs (DRUK) new office at Stratford. It means it takes me more time to get to the new office, but my travel is covered by the project as well as lunch. I miss the old office though; I miss the chap at reception who I got on well with, we both use to discuss old politics and the weather, for a non-African and he was very good at pronouncing my name accurately! I also miss the occasional old Arsenal versus Spurs banter with a particular chap who worked for another organisation at the old office, but thankfully we moved before the season ended as he would have had a lot of fun having one over me since Spurs ended the season better than Arsenal. Finally, I miss the full house we use to have there, in the new DRUK office staff often work from home because of the new modern way of hotdesking which means everyone cannot be in the office at the same time.

So, the new office and my take on it. It’s a cool place. Hotdesking reduces costs for DR UK and you are in this very accessible space (I say accessible tongue in cheek because accessibility means different things to different impairment groups) where different organisations and companies co-exist together. There are long large corridors and the view of the carnal is stunning. You are in a sort of modern tech town and lots of fancy stuff surrounding you – it’s good that a disability organisation exists there though because it keeps DR UK in touch with current trends in the tech world. It also gives these new tech organisations and their staff an opportunity to engage with a disabled people’s user led organisation and see disability from a more positive perspective.

In addition to what I normally do I participated in a research project that GYA is running with the University of Birmingham on inclusive and accessible information for disabled people who might want to be more active.  This involved attending a focus group where participants assessed and advised the research lead about the information they were developing for Public Health England. I enjoyed the experience and felt I was part of a noble cause that will make information about exercise and physical activities more accessible to disabled people. I also transcribed for Kate on the Get Out Get Active project. I listened to (felt like eavesdropping to people having a conversation!) her group of mentees  giving feedback on their experiences about being mentored to participate in sport. The experience honed my listening skills and possibly made me more patient!

In conclusion I see myself volunteering for a long time here at GYA, possibly till the end of the project unless my time is fully taken up by my other activities or if I start working full time. I enjoy volunteering and have been doing it since the 1990s. I understand not every disabled person can physically go out and volunteer like me, however if it’s possible everyone should volunteer one way or the other. Many charities (including some user-led organisations) now encourage remote volunteering (volunteering from home online) and I will encourage our readers whether disabled or not to volunteer in any way they can. The world needs your lived experience and skills and you can mentor or inspire someone too, it’s about being active folks and about getting yourself volunteering.

Happy Volunteers Week!

In other news: Nice blog post Iyiola! For more blogs from him click here

Turn Up and Play Centre for Females OVER 16 Years Old with a Disability

Friday 18 May 2018

The Turn Up and Play Centre aims to give females with a disability the opportunity to play sport in a safe, supportive and tailored environment

Dates for the next sessions are:

  • Friday 25th May
  • Friday 1st June
  • Friday 8th June
  • Friday 15th June
  • Friday 22nd June
  • Friday 29th June

Venue = West Riding County Football Association, Fleet Lane, Woodlesford, Leeds, LS26 8NX

Time = 1pm-2pm

Cost = £3 per session

To participate send an email Colan.Leung@westridingfa.com to request for registration and diversity forms.

In other news apply for special Olympic coach bursary scheme

Special Olympic Coach Bursary Scheme is now open

Friday 18 May 2018

The second round of Special Olympic Coach Bursary Scheme is now open until the 11th June.

 

 

The bursary is for £100.00 towards the cost of a level 1 or 2 Coaching Qualification and recipients will need to enhance current Special Olympic Provision within South/West Yorkshire or create new provision (with the support of the Network in either South/West Yorkshire).

The application form can be found here: https://yorkshire.sportsuite.co.uk/forms/view/socoachbursary

Wheels for All Black Country inclusive cycling tryout day

Friday 11 May 2018

Wheels for All are pleased to announce there will be a try out day at Aldersley Stadium on Wednesday 6th June 2018

 

Come and enjoy inclusive cycling activities for all the family
regardless of ability. Try out a wide range of adapted cycles at Aldersley Stadium.

Come along as a group or an individual – all welcome.
Help bring regular inclusive cycling to Wolverhampton.

When and where

Date: Wednesday 6th June 10am TO 4:30pm

Venue: Aldersley Stadium, Wolverhampton, WV6 9NW

Further details please contact Ian Tierney on 01925 234213
or email on ian.tierney@cycling.org.uk

In other news London vi sport and physical activity day

 

London VI Sport and Physical Activity Day

Friday 11 May 2018

FREE sports taster event in London for people with a visual impairment

Come along and enjoy an action packed inclusive day of tennis, zumba, football, goalball, climbing, cricket, gymnastics and much more!

This event is open to anyone with a visual impairment aged 8 and over, including friends and family ,sports fanatics or people just getting started. It’s fun for all ages, with a different activity timetables for children and adults on the day as well as gentle activities for those who want to take a slower pace.

The event organised by British Blind Sport, London Vision, Illuminate Fitness, the Royal Society for Blind Children and London Sport  will take place at Westway Sports Centre, London on Saturday 7th July 2018 from 10.30am to 4pm.

When and Where

Date: Saturday 7th July, 10.30am to 4pm

Venue: Westway Sports Centre, London W10 6RP

 Get Involved!

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

Register online for the London VI Sport and Physical Activity Day

In other news Goalball uk unches national schools- competition programme

 

 

Bradford City Disability FC Ladies Team Reach the FA People’s Cup 2018 Final

Friday 4 May 2018

Bradford City Disability FC, a ladies team formed less than six months ago, reached The FA People’s Cup 2018 Final thanks to Grow the Game funding.

Grow the Game, an annual grant scheme financed by The FA and delivered via the Football Foundation, offers grassroots football clubs wishing to create new teams with an opportunity to apply for funding. Following a successful application in September 2017, Bradford City Disability FC was formed of seven grassroots footballers, four of whom had never played the sport previously.

The team entered into the Adult Female Disability category and began their campaign at one of the 250 first-round venues in February. The team progressed to the regional semi-finals, before reaching the final round of the competition at St George’s Park last weekend [Saturday 28 April]. There, they faced some of the best female disability teams in the country and made it through to the Final, eventually finishing runners-up to three-time champions Aston Villa Ladies Disability FC.

Gemma Rose Fletcher, Bradford City Disability FC goalkeeper, said:

“Bradford City Disability FC has changed my life for the better! I didn’t really know many people with disabilities until I met the team and coaches when I started attending training. We train once a week and all have a laugh with each other, and I have made many new friends through the club.

“Having started by playing in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League just a few months ago, it was one of the best experiences of my life to reach The FA People’s Cup Final. It felt like a dream and I’m so proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time.”

Paul Jubb, Bradford City Disability FC Head Coach, said:

“I can’t believe we reached The FA People’s Cup Final. I’d like to thank The FA and the Football Foundation for the Grow the Game grant, which we put towards FA coaching courses, league affiliation costs, and general kit and equipment.

“The ladies have really benefited from being a part of the team, not only through improvements in their physical health, but also thanks to their new friendships. We are now looking to carry this momentum with some of the younger girls’ teams so that we can emulate this success.”

Since it was launched in 2010, Grow the Game has supported:

  • 14,462 new teams
  • 58,005 female footballers supported
  • 152,187 male footballers supported
  • 10,527 male disability footballers supported
  • 2,488 female disability footballers supported
  • 44,674 coaching qualifications gained

This year’s edition of The FA People’s Cup, which was run in partnership with BBC Get Inspired, saw over 45,000 players take part across 18 different categories.

To learn more about Grow the Game, please visit the Football Foundation website.

For further information, please contact:

Tom Everett, The Football Association: tom.everett@thefa.com / 07976 768520

Adam Charman, The Football Foundation: adam.charman@footballfoundation.org.uk / 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4274

Paul Jubb, Bradford City Disability FC: pjubb1964@gmail.com / 07845 568 226

In other news: We revisit the latest stage of Laura Turner’s physical activity adventures, as she delves into the world of women’s Blind football

 

Re-creating London Marathon 2018 by Iyiola Olafimihan

Friday 20th April 2018

Iyiola is a volunteer on the Get Yourself Active project and here shares his plans on this Sunday London Marathon

I have always wanted to participate in the annual London marathon and this year a group of us wheelchair users are joining in on the fun.

However, we will not be taking the usual routes through the streets of London like the other participants. We plan to do our own version of the marathon by wheeling round a popular huge park near my house.

You may want to ask, why the park? Why not join the thousands of people on the streets of London and become famous! Well, the answer to that is we have never done this before and we wanted to start in a familiar environment. Some of my friends also prefer to start small because they said they don’t have the confidence yet to hand cycle on the streets. We know adequate provision must have been made by the organisers to make the event inclusive but when you have never done it before, I suppose getting yourself active to identify with others in the park is the next best thing to the real thing.

So, I have called up my non-disabled friends and family to join us this Sunday to organise our own London marathon in a park! For me and my friends it will be the first time to participate in an organised event that will keep us active and identify with an international event taking place in our great city. We are not raising funds for any charities (maybe next year if the group are up for it we may) but just doing our thing instead of sitting at home watching others on TV.

We are a bit disorganised this year but if we enjoy it we might just plan 2019 to be better. We might even take to the streets and join others to get active and raise funds for whatever or whoever we want to raise funds for – it could even be to draw attention to an issue if permitted by the organisers.

London marathon in a park, why not? It’s all about getting yourself active.

The London Marathon will be shown on BBC 1 on Sunday 22 April from 8:30am

In other news: Good luck to Anthony and all the other runners taking part in the London Marathon this Sunday.

Disability and sport call for evidence

Friday 13 April 2018

 

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has issued a call for evidence about disability and sport – in a bid to get people moving more on a daily basis.

The call – under the banner of the ‘West Midlands on the Move’ physical activity strategy – aims to ignite a social movement across the region with the long-term aim of making physical activity the norm.

It demonstrates the combined authority’s commitment to reducing the region’s current levels of physical inactivity and inequalities and harnessing the potential of physical activity to improve people’s quality of life.

The WMCA physical activity team is collaborating with disability and sport special interest organisations to understand what is needed to improve the life chances of disabled people in the West Midlands.

Ultimately the aim is to become an exemplar region for numbers of physically active disabled people.

The WMCA Disability and Physical Activity working group aims to produce a report for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor by July 2018, setting out recommendations on what is needed to achieve this ambition.

Physical activity strategic lead Simon Hall said:  “We know there is lots of good and promising practice in the region, but 30% of adults in the West Midlands are still physically inactive along with 48.9% of disabled adults.

“As well as collating good practice and gaining invaluable insight from disabled people, we are launching a Disability and Physical Activity Call for Evidence to inform how we tackle this issue.”

More information from Sue Parker on 0121 214 7802 / 07917 456866 / sue.parker@wmca.org.uk

In Other News: We have six partner organisations across England, including Disability Centre for Sheffield Independent Living.

 

The FA Level 1 in Coaching Football – Inclusive Course

Thursday 12th April

After a very successful FA Level 1 in Coaching Football – Inclusive Course with Bradford City FC Community Foundation West Riding County FA will be offering another FA Level 1 in Coaching Football – Inclusive Course in West Riding.

The FA Level 1 in Coaching Football – Inclusive Course will be taking place at West Riding County FA so we wanted to share this with you in case you or somebody you know may be interested in attending.
The FA Level 1 in Coaching Football is the first step for any new manager/coach on the FA Coaching Pathway. This course includes the FA Emergency Aid and FA Safeguarding Children Workshop.All workshops are scheduled between 10am and 2pm. The duration of each workshop is scheduled to be 4 hours.

Through the completion of the learning programme for this qualification, learners will be introduced to the practical and theoretical aspects of planning, delivering and receiving individual football coaching sessions. The foundation level of knowledge and skills developed through this qualification will enable learners to create safe, fun and engaging coaching sessions.

Throughout the course, and in particular during  you will be introduced to:

  • The England DNA – How We Coach, How We Play, How We Support and The Future Player
  • The FA 4 Corner Player Development Model which will help you gain a better understanding of the long-term development of your players as a whole person
  • The FA Plan, Do, Review Model, helping you to construct appropriate practices and sessions for your players
  • A series of practical coaching ideas, giving you the ability to recognise the various ingredients that make up safe, fun and engaging practices to help your players develop
  • Practical coaching opportunities both on the course and where possible with your own players and teams

For more information on The FA Level 1 in Coaching Football – Inclusive Course please click on this link.

Alternatively if you do have any questions or queries then please contact Arran Williams at: Arran.Williams@westridingfa.com

In other news: Young players with disabilities are required for  the England Talent Day on sunday 6th may

 The 42nd Metro ‘Athletics Open’ will be held at Mile End Stadium in London on Saturday 16th June.

Tuesday 12th April

Hosted by London Borough of Tower Hamlets and GLL, supported by the Carmen Butler-Charteris Trust, Olympus, Professional UK and the Roden Family Foundation.

Metro Blind Sport’s 2017 Athletics Open held at Mile End Stadium. Long jump. Rebecca Blakey
Picture: Chris Vaughan Photography for Metro Blind Sport
Date: June 17, 2017

Metro Blind Sport welcomes athletes of all ages and experience throughout the UK to join us in our annual competition’s ‘42nd year! 

The morning Come and Try Coaching Session will once again provide those new to the sport a brilliant opportunity to try out running, jumping and throwing in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, supported by Qualified Coaches. If you haven’t tried an event before and want to compete in the afternoon, or are looking to improve your performance this is the place for you.

The 2018 programme will be run under UKA/IBSA rules and is open to males and females of all ages.  The athletics competitions are principally for registered blind and partially sighted people.  Guest competitors are welcome but no medals or certificates can be awarded.  Every competitor will receive a free T-shirt along with either a medal and/or performance certificate.  Free packed lunches will be provided for all competitors, coaches, officials and volunteers.  *Guide Runners may be arranged with advance notice, you will need to provide an estimate of your track times.

 

The track (Mile End Stadium) and the accommodation (Queen Mary University) are within walking distance of Mile End Tube Station (Central and District line).

  • Athletes aged Under 12, 14 or 17 may take part in up to four individual events in any one day.
  • Senior Athletes may take part in a maximum of five events. These will consist of either 3 track and 2 field, or 2 track and 3 field on the day.
  • Electronic timing will be used on all track races.
  • B3 and B4 athletes are reminded that competition rules do not allow any concessions to assist performance. (No Guide Runners)
  • ALL B1 ATHLETES MUST PROVIDE AND USE THEIR OWN SHADES. Time permitting there will be a Fun Relay for all competitors during the afternoon including parents and coaches.
  • Photos: A gallery of high resolution photo’s will be available in the week after this event. We will share a link with you where you can view and select, following a donation of your chosing, the photos you would like to keep. Please take note of the number/s and send these to wynne@metroblindsport.org. Saul will setup an individual WeTransfer link (available for 7 days only) for you to download the Digital High Res Photo/s you have chosen to your pc. Photo requests are on a first come, first serve basis only and will be processed when time allows. Donations can be made via the website donate button http://bit.ly/MBSDonatePage

In order for as many events as possible to take place, it may be necessary to merge sight categories thereby ensuring the maximum number of individual ‘event requests’ are met. We recognise this could lead to a miss-match in functional sight levels, however our aim with the ‘Open’ is to always offer the widest range of opportunities for athletes to compete. We view this as a preferable option to cancelling events with low numbers.    

 

To Enter: Please complete and return this entry form by email to roy.smith@metroblindsport.org

 

The closing date for Entries is Friday 01st June 2018, if you require Accommodation the closing date is 31st March 2018.

 

Accommodation:  This will be available on Friday and Saturday night (15th and 16th) at the aforementioned Queen Mary University of London.  Please note there is a further reduction for those under the age of 18 – a separate form is available please email roy.smith@metroblindsport.org

 

EVENT DETAILS

To be held:

Mile End Stadium,

Rhodeswell Road,

London,

E14 7TW

Tel no. 020 8980 1885

       

Come and Try Session starts 10.00am – 11.30, open to all ages, an ideal opportunity to access specialist coaching in track and field disciplines.

 

Competition starts 12.00 noon, listed below are all events grouped under the relevant age ranges. Results will be uploaded to Power of 10 asap.    

 

Event closes after final Medal Ceremony – 5.00pm  

 

Under 12 (Age at 01.01.2018) – Boys and Girls (4 events only)

60m, 100m, Standing Long Jump, Ball Throw, (For B1 athletes only – called 60m),

 

Under 14 (Age at 01.01.2018) – Boys and Girls (4 events only)

100m, 800m, Long Jump, High Jump, Shot, Discus, Javelin, (For B1 athletes only – called 60m),

 

Under 17 (Age at 01.01.2018) – Boys and Girls (4 events only)

100m, 800m, Long Jump, High Jump, Shot, Discus, Javelin, (For B1 athletes only – called 60m),

 

Senior Ladies and Men (18 – 34)

100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Shot, Discus, Javelin

 

Vets Ladies and Men (Over 35)

100m, 800m, 5000m, Long Jump, Shot

 

Entry: FREE including pack lunch, T-shirt, Medals/Performance Certificate.  

In other news:Junior Para Swimmers splash out in Southampton this weekend

Junior Para Swimmers splash out in Southampton this weekend

Tuesday 10th April 2018

This weekend (14-15 April 2018) will see over 100 young swimming hopefuls from across the country take part in the National Junior Para Swimming Championships. It will be the first time Southampton has hosted the event.

Photo credit: Cerebral Palsy Sport

Organised by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) and supported by Swim England, the unique partnership aim is to increase opportunities and talent development for young disabled swimmers.

The event will see swimmers aged 10-16 years old compete in the short course event, comprising; 50m and 100m Freestyle, 50m and 100m Backstroke, 50m Breaststroke, 150m and 200m Individual Medley and 50m and 100m Butterfly.

Emily-Jane Surgeoner, 11, who is competing as an S9, SB9 and SM9 para-swimmer, said:

“I have been training really hard for this event. I’m looking forward to seeing if all my training is making a difference. Most importantly I just want to swim well, my goal is to make a number of qualifying times so that I can swim at my first British Para International Swim Meet at the end of May. Of course, my other goal is to have improved on my overall times too.”

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for EFDS, said:

“For many swimmers here this weekend it will be their first national competition experience. This is testament to the amount of work delivered at grassroots level to introduce new swimmers and grow participation. We’re proud to be bringing the event to the South coast this year- our thanks go to Swim England, SOS, Southampton City Council and Active Nation for their support.”

 

Spectators will be able to buy tickets at the venue on the day. Details are as follows:

Event: National Junior Para-Swimming Championships 2018

Venue: The Quays, 27 Harbour Parade, Southampton, SO15 1BA

Dates: Saturday 14 April – Sunday 15 April 2018

Saturday: Session one, race starts at 9am. Session two, race starts at 2pm

Sunday: Session three, race starts at 9am

 

Start lists and results will be available online. Follow the event conversation with the hashtag #JuniorParaSwim18.

For further information, please contact:

  • Jannine Walker, National Events Manager. Email: Jannine  Mobile: 07725 273158
  • Laila Issa, Communications Advisor. Email Laila  Mobile: 07794 525034

In other news:The England Talent Day for players with a disability will be held on Sunday 6th May 2018

Personal Experiences: What we’re looking for…

At Get Yourself Active we love it when people with disabilities share their personal experiences of getting active with the wider world. We have a section on our website that has an inspiring range of blog posts of people doing just that.

Some of our blog posts come from countries outside England including from Sue Kent from Wales who is featured in this photo canoeing.

 So if you have a disability or long term health condition and would like to add your own story please look at the following guidelines and do get in touch.

There are many different ways for people with disabilities to get active including ice skating. This can be done either independently or through the help of their Personal Assistants (PAs) as shown by Jonathan and his PA Mandy.

We are looking for blog posts that:

  • Have a word length of about 500 words ideally and no longer than 800 words
  • Include a brief self-biography and photos of you taking part in the activity that you’re writing about. If you do not want to show your face in the photos then that is fine
  • Have links to any social media (including videos) which you’re part of that is related to disability sports including fundraising or publicising events
  • Focus on particular benefits you’ve gained as a result of being active e.g. improved confidence and independence, weight loss, strength and balance and meeting new people.
  • If you have a personal budget and use it to get active either by directly paying for the activity or indirectly by paying for a personal assistant to take you then we strongly encourage you to write about this in your post.

Also when submitting a blog post to us please be aware that:

  • It must be related to our organisation Disability Rights UK’s vision, mission and priorities.
  • It must not contain hate speech, incitement to violence or anything unlawful, misleading, defamatory or discriminatory
  • Get Yourself Active retains the right to edit a blog
  • If you have a learning disability or neurological condition that means that you’re strongest at drawing let us know. We will accept any pictures that you send us provided that they are either in PNG or JPEG format and follow our other guidelines (not obscene etc). Don’t worry about dimensions as we can resize any pictures which are sent to us.

Get Yourself Active is a campaign that only exists in England. However, we will consider any blog posts that provide an international perspective on our campaign. And publish any ones on getting active with a disability in another country, provided that they meet our other guidelines.

If you would any further information or want to submit a blog post (or drawing) then please e-mail: Kirsty Mulvey at kirsty.mulvey@disabilityrightsuk.org 

Thanks for reading and we’re looking forward to receiving some inspiring stories from you!

Blogs can be about people with disabilities getting active whatever their age! This is a picture of young wheelchair racer Maya Ratcliffe happy at Parallel London.

England Talent Day- Players Required

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Do you have any footballers (or know any footballers) within your club, school, organisation or programmes that have a disability?

The England Talent Day for players with a disability will be on:

 Sunday 6th May 2018, 10:00am-13:00pm

At West Riding County FA, Leeds, LS26 8NX

We are looking for players aged 7-16 to meet the following criteria;

 

  • AMPUTEE (male)
  • BLIND (male)
  • CEREBRAL PALSY (male)
  • DEAF (male)
  • DEAF (female)
  • PARTIALLY SIGHTED (male)

There is a poster (which you can share with your contacts) and a player registration form which needs to be signed by the parents of those who are interested in attending the England Talent Day.

If you know any players that fit into the above criteria and believe they have a very good opportunity to progress in the England Talent Pathway then please provide the following information to Colan Leung  as soon as possible:

-First Name

-Family name

– Date of Birth

-Year Group (7-11 or 12-16)

– Impairment

– Home Address

– Post Code

– Contact Number

-E-mail Address

In Other News: Celebrating Disability Sport in Sheffield

 

Celebrating Disability Sport in Sheffield

Thursday 5  April 2018

Video from Within Reach has a range of examples of people with disabilities being physically active at different levels

At Get Yourself Active we like examples of people with disabilities getting active whether in blog posts like this one or videos.

This is why we’re sharing “Within Reach- The story so far” on our website. This is a nearly four minute long video that invites people to see what has been going on in the world of disability sport and physical activity in the city of Sheffield. It can be seen here or below:

Within Reach – The Story So Far from Vox Multimedia on Vimeo.

The video celebrates the range of disability sports opportunities available to people of all ages and abilities across Sheffield. And provides information about how the city’s sports and activity programme developed from 1989 after the World Student games, whether through the work of Within Reach or the partner organisations that joined it. Please look at “Within Reach- The story so far” and share it with any individuals or organisations who you think may be interested.

Also worth mentioning is that Sheffield has a Disability Sports Network in the city, chaired by Dawn Wood of the Links School Sports Partnership. If you’re interested in getting involved with the network then do email gareth.hayden@sheffield.gov.uk

In Other News: We have six partner organisations across England, including Disability Centre for Sheffield Independent Living.

 

Bryerley Springs Equestrian Centre Gains Accessibility Mark Accreditation

Thursday 4 April

A Milton Keynes equestrian centre has secured an accreditation to a national scheme to encourage more disabled people to take up horse riding.

With the mental and physical benefits of horse riding well documented, the centre hopes its Accessibility Mark accreditation will help reach out to a wider group of riders.

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

Following an appeal for more volunteers, the centre’s staff, including the new team of volunteers participated in a compulsory training day with an ASO (Accessibility Support Officer).

The training focused on the challenges faced by disabled riders and lesson planning, to enable staff to make the sessions productive and safe whilst keeping them fun and interactive.

The Pony Club-approved centre currently offers lesson to riders of all ages and abilities, delivered by qualified staff who have all received training in child protection/safeguarding and first aid.

As well as riding lessons, the centre also provide lessons to NVQ level in Horse Care. Just spending time with horses can promote a general sense of well-being and improve confidence, something the centre hopes they can achieve with both ridden and un-mounted sessions.

A spokesperson from Bryerley Springs Riding Centre said: “Brylerley Springs is a great place to learn to ride and we pride ourselves on the welcoming atmosphere our clients experience. We really hope to be able to open up our doors to more members of the community with the message that horse riding is an activity that is available to everyone.

“The Accessibility Mark accreditation demonstrates our ability to safely and confidently accommodate riders with a range of disabilities and the support from the RDA means we can seek advice where necessary to ensure every rider can set achievable goals.”

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 it can offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure it provides a first-class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.

For further information contact Bryerley Springs Equestrian Centre on 01525 261 823 or visit http://bryerleysprings.co.uk

There are currently 47 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: Introducing Leo Capella Communications Officer for Get Yourself Active

Introducing Leo Capella Communications Officer for Get Yourself Active

Thursday 5 April 2018

Leo Capella, new communications officer for Get Yourself Active introduces himself.

Hello!

I hope that you had a good bank holiday weekend.

Leanne Wightman the programme officer is away for the next six months.  So I have the  absolute pleasure of taking over this website from Kirsty Mulvey while she focuses on working with our existing partner organisations and engaging new ones.  For those who don’t know me I’m the former Campaign Project Coordinator at I Can Make It, another project that Disability Rights UK works on.

I’m also on the autistic spectrum and I love sport, at least for the most part as an armchair fan. I used to do a lot as a kid and then as a young adult whether through occupational therapy and school sports. Or sailing which I did a lot at both solo and as part of a crew, sometimes competitively, sometimes sponsored, other times just for the fun of messing around on the water. But somehow between jobs, creative writing and campaigning I lost my way on keeping myself active apart from walking my dogs both past and present . So I’m not as active as I should be. Hopefully being part of this campaign will change that!

Also Disability Rights UK is an organisation made up of clever people who like doing clever projects that help people with disabilities participate equally in society on their own terms (and we love it that our funders  and six partners from across England do too).

Hopefully in the next six months I can show you just how we all work to give other people with disabilities choice and control (which is crucial) on how they get and keep active within their lives. This will be through our various updates including our newsletter that goes out at the end of the month (if you haven’t signed up already you should) and some content from our partners (including hopefully our project coordinators) who do excellent jobs in their areas.

I’d also encourage you to look at our films about getting active as well as why our campaign was launched.

We’ve got another film coming in out the future so please do keep an eye out for it. And don’t forget that we’d love to share your stories about the work you do with personal budgets to get disabled people active as well your own stories about getting active as people with disabilities. So do get in contact with us.  

For my part I am trying to take up a martial art as I’ve always wanted to learn one (any autism friendly Iaido instructors out there)? Who knows time permitting there may be a blog post or two about that or getting back out the water sailing.

In any case thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing from some of you soon.

In other news: I’m not the only new thing happening in the disability sports/ physical activity world. Check out this video by Cerebral Palsy Sport about a clever new form of racing for people with cerebral palsy called RaceRunning.

Motability announces new Director

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Motability, the charity which provides a ‘road to freedom’ for disabled people and their families through the Motability Scheme throughout the United Kingdom, are pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Atkinson CBE to the role of Director, effective from 21 May 2018.

Paul Atkinson was appointed following an open recruitment and selection process undertaken by the Governors of Motability.  He succeeds the current Director, Declan O’Mahony, who decided in 2017 to step down following 16 years of dedicated service to Motability.

Paul Atkinson joins Motability following a very successful and varied career in the Royal Air Force where he was a senior Air Battlespace Manager.  Paul achieved the rank of Group Captain and was sent on 15 diverse tours of duty, four overseas (including German Air Force Exchange), and six operational deployments including Afghanistan, the Falklands and Belize.  He commanded the Royal Air Force Air Surveillance and Control Force responsible for national and NATO early warning and air defence.  He has a strong track record of achievement whilst motivating large and diverse teams to achieve sustained success.

Chairman and co-founder of Motability, Lord Sterling, said:

“The Governors and I would like to thank Declan for his excellent contribution in delivering Motability’s strategic objectives over the past 16 years and we wish him and his family well for future years.  We look forward to Paul Atkinson bringing his own particular skills to the role and working with us to drive Motability even further forward, in order to transform and enhance the lives of disabled people and their families”.

In other news: Instructability helped me learn to be me again

InstructAbility helped me learn to be me again

Thursday 29 March 2018

This week’s personal experience blog comes from Wendy Hall, who when she couldn’t find a gym she liked decided to train as a gym instructor herself

In 2008 I had a blackout and fell down stairs. I broke my neck at C5/6/7 cervical level, which essentially means everything below the break is affected and I had instant paralysis from the neck down. Some of my friends and family were always hopeful I would get some sort of recovery as I was physically fit and always did exercise, used weights and gone to the gym, but I know how lucky I am to have achieved any recovery, feeling or movement due to the level and severity of my injury.

Soon after the accident I was lying in bed, not being able to move, but still trying to work out how I was ever getting back to the gym.

I thought it would be a very difficult road ahead for me – and I was right.  Some days were harder than others with several gyms and personal medical struggles trying to hold me back. The attitude towards me was unexpected, especially from lots of staff and members who knew  me; it was like I had two heads and was contagious! I was offered no support, no alternatives or adapted induction to be able to re-learn equipment. I even struggled to enter the building, even with my partner’s support.

That’s when I decided it shouldn’t be the case for others….

I did some voluntary work with Aspire, a spinal cord charity, which led me down the path of becoming a gym instructor again after my accident. Aspire has a great InstructAbility programme which provides fitness industry training for disabled people. I used to teach aerobics classes before my accident, and so the training for me was a brilliant opportunity and helped me to feel like the ‘old me’ again.

Although my spinal injury can make things challenging at times, being active helps. Practical exercises support me with everyday functions like getting about and some flexibility, which can be challenging with my nerve damage.

While in the gym as a volunteer, I decided I wanted to start an Inclusive Circuits class when I became qualified.  I wanted to create and give more opportunities to bring more people together. It was (and still is) so apparent there are very few inclusive classes in gyms; the issues I had faced just seemed to be all too common.  Anyone is welcome to join in with us, and anything can happen. My class has been doing so well and is popular with regular participants!! There are many abilities, and we all come together to exercise and some of the transformations have been amazing for individuals.

Any top tips or recommendations?

I’d say most of all, keep looking and trying to do something you like and enjoy. Whatever you can manage today, may get you through tomorrow. Family and friends will see you through, and will help where they can. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Charities for example, can offer much more than just financial support, they can help with all sorts of things. Without Aspire, who knows where I would (or wouldn’t) be today. I have a lot to thank a stubborn practical attitude, and Aspire for.

I think I had all but given up on trying to progress, so the opportunity to be supported in teaching in exercise again I couldn’t miss out on. I just wanted something to remind me of some part of ‘me’ before my accident, I could hardly remember with struggling with so many things after coming back home from hospital. I never realised how soul destroying coming home would be, but I couldn’t give up trying to find another me.

In taking on the InstructAbility gym course it set me challenges I wasn’t sure I would manage. From taking on a full course including written and practical work, and trying to manage a job as well, it was so difficult. It was exhausting and painful, physically and mentally, but I wanted to do well and kept believing I could.

Doing the gym course, with other disabled people helped me learn to be me again and have some confidence to be me again. Staff and gym users (at Portway Lifestyle Centre, Sandwell Leisure Trust) knew nothing about me, other than I was a qualified gym instructor on a voluntary placement.

Challenging myself has been the best thing, as well as the hardest. If it was easy it wouldn’t be so worthwhile.

It’s been life changing , almost literally for me.

It’s given me confidence to speak to people again, look people in the eye, learn to be in the gym exercising again and learn to enjoy being with others and be in my own skin. I had hated myself for a long time, felt worthless and pointless. I’m finding my new me, even though it’s taken about 7 years though (I’m now 10 years post-accident).

I’m stronger mentally, growing in confidence, happy to speak with others , and importantly I’ve seen I can encourage others, especially with mixed ability. To see others grow in self confidence and personality is so inspiring to me.  I’m doing things I never would have before, like outdoor rowing, and I’m taking those who want to try new things with me too.

I’m proud to have my disability now and to be able to inspire, encourage and see others grow. My journey could have been so different and, more importantly, without those who I love and live with who have always encouraged me and see how difficult it is, it was and still will be. I’m lucky and very grateful to many, but I spread lots of thank you’s wherever I can. Usually cake & a cuppa, that’s never changed.

Even though I still used my wheelchair, but it never stopped me pushing forwards.

In other news Want to help make a change in the information disabled people receive about physical activity?

Macclesfield Lifestyle Originals FC

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Macclesfield Lifestyle Originals Football Club recently took part in the FA’s Peoples Cup competition at Aquinas College Stockport.

This was their very first official completion and they played really well against some very seasoned teams drawing two games and losing four. Everyone really enjoyed the experience and are really looking forward to taking part in many more future competitions.

The team shown here is from 2nd left to right is: Back row: Paul Jackson, Jonathan Perry, Craig Mcleod & Michelle Plumb (Ladies team Goalkeeper); Front row: Mark Nolan, Tom Swindon & Mitchel Reece.

Two other people who played in the completion but were unable to take part in the photo are: Marcus Bowness ( Mens team Goalkeeper) & Jordan Hayter. The two coaches are: Lorryn Dixon & Ju Van Da Wal.

Besides this competition, the team along with the rest of the Macclesfield Lifestyle Group and a number of other teams from Adult Services throughout Cheshire East, take part in a Monthly football event held at Sandbach UTD FC. This event is now in its fourth season and is going from strength to strength and looks set to continue for many more.
The team would like to give a big thank you to their sponsors Pro Seal, for their encouragement, support and for providing the teams kits.

In other news: Step Change Studios invite you to attend their first professional showcase

Step Change Studios invite you to attend their first professional showcase

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Fusion is the UK’s first inclusive Latin and Ballroom dance-inspired showcase, presented by Step Change Studios. Fusion brings together talented professional artists from a wide range of dance backgrounds to push the boundaries of ballroom with beautiful, powerful, performances that redefine the genre.

Fusion is an experiment and creative exploration between disabled and non-disabled artists from backgrounds that include Charleston, Swing, Contemporary and Street to develop original pieces inspired by Latin and Ballroom dance.

Dance, in all forms draws influence from different styles, settings, and stories. Dancers’ physical form influences the artistic and performance process. Fusion brings these together through playful, creative collaborations that aim to question our ideas about Latin and Ballroom dance and dancers.

When: Wednesday 9 May at 8pm
Where: Lilian Baylis Studio, Rosebery AvenueLondonEC1R
Find out more information here: Fusion
Extras: The performance will be followed by a post-show discussion
Free to ticket holders. BSL interpreted.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Supported by the Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund – an East London Dance initiative.

In other news: Take part in our research and receive a £15 Amazon voucher

SportsAble appoints new COO and directors to support growth ambitions

Tuesday 13 March 2018

SportsAble, a sports club in Berkshire which specialises in delivering multiple sports to people with a disability and their families, has appointed a Chief Operations Officer and bolstered its Trustee and Enterprise Boards.

This process has taken place over the last 12 months and prepares the organisation for an expansion of services.

Miranda Wilsnagh becomes new COO of SportsAble

Established in 1975, SportsAble is a registered charity that has been playing a vital role in the community for more than 40 years.  It is governed and managed by a Board of Trustees, many of whom are also founding members of the charity. In 2015, an Enterprise Board was established. This Board reports directly in to the Board of Trustees and is responsible for generating and managing income which is then fed back into the charity and the day to day operation of the facility.

Kerl Haslam, CEO at SportsAble, says:

“We are an ambitious organisation. Over the next 18 months we have big plans to enhance our provision, creating even more accessible and varied opportunities for disabled people in the Thames Valley to enjoy an active lifestyle. We already deliver 20 physical activity sessions per week, across 15 sports and serve a loyal membership of 365 members, but, we want to do more.

“We are in talks with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead regarding the development of new premises on our existing site in Braywick Park, Maidenhead. Our facilities have served us well but they are tired and in need of modernisation.  We are also exploring an opportunity to launch a franchise model to create a national network of SportsAble clubs, extending the service we provide to other communities across the country and enabling inter-club competition. In addition, we are also keen to extend our community outreach programme through connections with local hospitals and schools. Not everyone is able to visit our premises so we want to take more of our services out into the community.

“All of these projects are the driving force behind the recent COO and Board appointments. Yes, the plans are ambitious but with the right skills, knowledge and experience I am confident we can achieve them.”

Joining the organisation as COO is Miranda Wilsnagh. With 21 years’ experience running her own IT recruitment business and more recently working in the charity sector as a councillor and advisor, Miranda’s main role will be on unifying and motivating the staff team as well as overseeing general operations. The post is full time and will enable the CEO, Kerl Haslam, to focus on strategic planning, income generation and partner relations.

Commenting about her appointment, Miranda says:

“I have spent my entire professional life helping individuals fulfil their potential. I intend to continue to do this at SportsAble, both with the staff team and the members. The charity has huge potential and I am looking forward to making a contribution which will push the charity towards a successful and sustainable future.”

Joining the Enterprise Board are: Jo Croft, Head of Finance; Tim Bowley, Team Building and Junior Sports; Lynne Kuschel, MBE, Volunteer Manager; William Wilsnagh, Strategy and Business Development.

Joining the Trustee Board are: Aly Lewis, Lawyer; Sharon Bridge, Swimming Coach and Fundraising; Steve Palmer, Fundraising and Social Media; Jonathon Madden, Social Media; Harp Bamrah, Corporate Sponsorship.

All new members underwent a rigorous interview and induction process before their applications were accepted. Haslam adds:

“The level of talent we have attracted has surpassed my expectations. I am really looking forward to working with such an accomplished group of individuals.”

Speaking about his reasons for joining the Enterprise Board, Tim Bowley, says:

“SportsAble delivers an invaluable service to the community and it is important that we find new ways to protect the sustainability of the charity through the exploitation of existing income streams and the development of new opportunities. Working alongside the other Enterprise Board members and liaising closely with the Board of Trustees, I look forward to introducing new practices, ideas and innovations that will keep the charity providing a much-needed service to the community for many years to come.”

In other news: British Blind Sport and UK Deaf Sport want to hear from you

Double delight as ParalympicsGB take super-G silver and bronze

Monday 12 March 2018

There was double delight for ParalympicsGB’s visually impaired Para alpine skiers on day two, with two medals at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games.

Millie Knight and Brett Wild secured their second silver medal of the Games with a fantastic run in the super G, while Menna Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Kehoe showed their fearless attitude when they bounced back from the disappointment of not completing the downhill event on day one to win bronze.

A jubilant Knight said:

“If I’d thought I would have two medals in two days at the Paralympics I would have said you are crazy. This time four years ago I was sat in the crowd watching Kelly (Gallagher) win gold and now I’ve made the podium myself.”

Their success on the slopes at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre means ParalympicsGB now has a fabulous three medals after just two days of competition.

In other news Want to help make a change in the information disabled people receive about physical activity?

Accessibility Mark Comes to Isle of Wight

Monday 12 March 2018

 

A riding centre on the Isle of Wight has become the latest centre to form an association with RDA through its Accessibility Mark scheme.

Island Riding Centre gained its accreditation following training and assessment and is now hoping to be able to expand its services to more disabled riders.

Riding for the Disabled Association, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation’s participation programme, launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.

Set in stunning countryside, Island Riding Centre is the premier riding venue on the Isle of Wight, and benefits from some of the best beach and countryside trails in the UK. 

The Association of British Riding Schools centre prides itself on providing riding opportunities for everyone, from the youngest to the oldest riders and people with limited physical abilities. Their aim is to not only provide fun but also help development and maybe find a potential future riding star.

Accessibility for disabled riders at the centre is un-rivalled in the area, with the newly built facility being design based on recommendation from RDA. The site is fully accessible for wheelchair users and has an access ramp to help with mounting.

As the centre is based in a popular holiday location, they have developed a range of self-catering holiday accommodation with four of the units suitable for disabled people, having being built to the guidelines of the National Accessible Scheme for Disabled Access.

Centre manager Tian Hughes said: “We contacted the RDA to enquire about our options for teaching disabled riders and they recommended the Accessibility Mark scheme, as the most suitable avenue for the centre.

“The scheme allows us to tap into the experience of such a well-respected organisation and is attractive to our clients as it demonstrates the gold standard, giving confidence that they are in safe and capable hands.

“When the staff attended the training day, they were all incredibly impressed with the vast amount of knowledge displayed by the ASO (Accessibility Support Officer), which focused on good practice on things such as mounting.

“We were already teaching some disabled riders with minor physical and learning disabilities but hope to expand this further using our fantastic facilities and with the help and support of RDA.”

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 it can offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure it provides a first-class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.

For further information contact Island Riding Centre on 01983 214000 or visit www.islandriding.com

There are currently 45 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country.

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

For more information contact Jacqueline Spouge or Tim Smith at TSM on 01724 784600.

In other news Want to help make a change in the information disabled people receive about physical activity?

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