Sport Cheshire has invested in a pioneering project which will enable Cheshire and Warrington to respond to the nation’s Paralympics success.
The scheme has been initiated by council leaders from across Cheshire and Warrington who have joined forces to improve opportunities for sport and physical activity for local people with disabilities.
If you are a local organisation or individual interested in improving opportunities for disabled people to play sport or get physically active then Sport Cheshire wants to hear from you.
Just one in 15 people with a disability regularly plays sport in England. While this has increased in the past five years it still trails behind participation rates for non-disabled people, with nearly one in five taking part.
Representatives from Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West & Chester Council and Warrington Borough Council have called upon Sport Cheshire, the strategic body for sport and physical activity in the sub- region, to help them to improve their understanding of the needs of the local population and improve opportunities for disabled people to participate in sport.
Sport Cheshire will consult with a wide range of key local stakeholders, disabled athletes, support agencies, governing bodies of sport and non- participants to assess current constraints and identify key measures to improve quality of and access to provision within Cheshire and Warrington.
Councillor Steve Wilkinson, Cabinet support member for communities and regulatory services, said: “This new initiative is excellent news and will hopefully capitalise on the high profile that sport for people with disabilities gained during the summer.
“By speaking with a wide range of organisations, I hope we can formulate an effective plan to move things forward.”
Paralympian Sarah Storey said: "The London 2012 Paralympics Games put sport for people with all levels of impairment on a platform where it is now seen for what it has always been – elite sport.
“As with any sporting pyramid, it is important to ensure all levels of participation receive the necessary opportunities to allow those involved to progress to the next level or remain active at the level they choose.
“We hope the success of Paralympics has started a momentum that will benefit everyone in society and look forward to seeing more and more people getting involved in sport and physical activity.”
Anne Ibrahim, CEO of Sport Cheshire said:
“We are proud to lead such a valuable piece of work on behalf of our key stakeholders to improve opportunities for the 59,300 disabled people locally. Sport has the unique power to build confidence and self-esteem and has been proven to have a direct impact on physical and mental health.”
Local organisations and individuals wishing to be involved should contact Matt Parker at Sport Cheshire on 01606 330212.