Tanni Grey-Thompson launches Sport England disabled sport fund

Tanni Grey-Thompson, Britain’s greatest Paralympian, has teamed up with Sport England to launch an £8 million fund to get more disabled people playing sport.

From today (May 21) a wide range of organisations will be able to bid for National Lottery funding from Sport England.

The fund – called Inclusive Sport – will help tackle the opportunity gap that means just one in six disabled adults plays sport regularly, compared to one in three non-disabled adults.

Currently 17.6 per cent of disabled people play sport at least once a week, up from 15.1 per cent in 2005/6 when the Olympic bid was won.

There are a number of challenges facing disabled people wanting to take part in sport, including a lack of specialist equipment, transport issues and poor information about the opportunities available.

“It is an uncomfortable truth that disabled people enjoy fewer opportunities to get involved in sport,” says Jennie Price, Sport England’s chief executive.

“Sport England is committed to changing that and making it easier for disabled people to fit sport into their daily lives.

“The Paralympic Games will put the sporting achievements of disabled people in the spotlight as never before.

“I want to make sure that Sport England’s £8 million Lottery investment is a catalyst to help more disabled people get involved.”

Inclusive Sport aims to build on recent investments by Sport England to improve the expertise offered by the disability sport sector to other organisations that want to get disabled people playing sport.

It also heralds a greater focus on disabled participation throughout the sport sector.

A number of sports bodies are currently drawing up ambitious plans to increase participation levels among disabled people over the next four years.

From football to fencing, any sport seeking public investment for its disability plans will be required to sign up to targets for raising participation rates among disabled people.

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