Staff at Greenbank Sports Academy are celebrating after being told that they will receive a 3 year funding package of £318,000 from Sport England to develop disability sports provision across Merseyside over the next 3 years. Choices for Disability Sport Merseyside will build on the success of the Choices programme that has been run in Greenbank Sports Academy since 2012*.
The project will establish six new disability sports hubs at Kirby High School, Lansbury Bridge Sports College, Croxteth Sport and Wellbeing Centre, Woodchurch Sports College, North West Spinal Injuries Centre Southport and Cronton College. Sports on offer will include Table Tennis, Football, Hockey, Basketball, Boccia, Rugby League and Handball.
Project leader Pete Wyman said “This is fantastic news! At Greenbank Sports Academy we understand the issues that prevent disabled people from taking part in sport. Where possible we use disabled staff as coaches and have the appropriate equipment and knowledge to enable disabled people to reach their sporting potential. Choices for Disability Sport Merseyside will allow us to offer our specialist service, not just within our own Sports Academy but within other local communities. This will give more disabled people an opportunity to get involved in sport”.
Sport England Director of Insight, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “We are delighted to be able to help Greenbank Sports Academy provide more opportunities for disabled people to give sport a go. Record numbers of disabled people now play sport and it’s thanks to clubs like this that we can continue to improve opportunities and make a real difference in communities.”
The number of disabled people playing sport regularly is on the rise. In December 2013, Sport England’s Active People Survey – an annual, in-depth measure of the nation’s sporting habits – revealed that a record number of disabled people in England now play sport each week. However, non-disabled people are still twice as likely to play sport as disabled people (39.2 per cent compared to 18.5 per cent) which is why Sport England continues to focus attention and investment to address this imbalance.
*Choices for Disability Sport at Greenbank Sports Academy has been funded by St James’s Place Foundation since 2012. The project has successfully established a wide range of disability sports clubs and activities. Details at http://www.greenbanksportsacademy.co.uk/sports/