Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Disability Rights UK partners with Sports England to address inequality in sports

Get Yourself Active from Disability Rights UK are amongst the 78 new partners who will work with Sport England to increase access to sport and physical activity across England.

Sport England selected all partner organisations due to their ability to influence change and improvement at the heart of the system they are a part of no matter how big or small.

It will be investing £360 million of National Lottery and government funding into the new partnerships of which Get Yourself Active will receive £1.7 million. This will help ensure the charity can continue to support disabled people to get active in ways that are right for them.

Anna Denham, Programme Manager at Get Yourself Active said: “Since we began in 2015, we have worked tirelessly to increase disabled people’s participation in sport and physical activity so that we can all experience its benefits. When our work began, we quickly saw how barriers prevent disabled people from getting active. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to get involved, but that many preventable barriers were stopping us.

“Becoming a partner means Get Yourself Active will receive investment and support from Sport England. We will exchange knowledge and expertise as we work together to co-deliver the ambitions of its 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy. It means that we can continue to centre Disabled people’s voices to remove barriers and change lives for the better.”

Sports funding for up to five years

The funding comes on the back of the £193m investment in 43 partners Sports Englan announced in March and brings the total backing to more than £550m in 121 partners.

A new investment model will see organisations receive funding for up to five years, in order to provide longer-term financial security that allows organisations to recover and reinvent from the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The need to focus on tackling inequalities was evidenced by the report the latest Active Lives Survey, which detailed that while activity levels are showing signs of recovery post-pandemic, barriers to getting active persist and have been exacerbated for some disadvantaged groups.

These groups include women, disabled people, those with long-term health conditions, people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups.

Chief executive of Sport England Tim Hollingsworth said: “At the heart of our strategy Uniting the Movement is a relentless focus on tackling inequalities to help everyone get active – no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background is.

“We cannot do this alone, and that’s why we are building a movement of partners that share our goal to level up access to sport and physical activity. They are well positioned to create the conditions for positive change in society and we will support them to do that; through investment, through research, through collaboration and innovation.

“The latest research shows that stubborn inequalities within activity levels remain and we will continue to target our resources and funding towards the people and places that need the most support to be active.”

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