Investment will help disabled athletes set new goals

A £2.6 MILLION investment for disabled athletes will help increase participation, according to South Yorkshire Sport.

Sport England has revealed that British Blind Sport, Cerebral Palsy Sport, the Dwarf Sport Association UK, UK Deaf Sport and British Wheelchair Sport will share £1.1m.

An additional £1.5m of Exchequer funding has been awarded to the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) to enable it to promote participation in disability sports.

South Yorkshire Sport is part of a network of 49 County Sports Partnerships in England working alongside the EFDS and Federation of Disability Sports Organisations (FDSO) in Yorkshire to increase opportunities for disabled athletes to participate and improve in their chosen sport.

Bruce Kelsey, Director of South Yorkshire Sport, said: “An on-going goal for all of us who work in sports development is to widen access and increase participation for disabled and minority groups, so the announcement of this additional funding is welcomed.

“We already have a strong relationship with the Federation of Disability Sports organisations and the national governing bodies who will also receive a share of this new funding.”

Sport England chairman, Richard Lewis, said: “Our goal is to get as many more disabled people playing sport and we can only achieve this through a changed approach – one where sports bodies integrate the sport on offer to disabled and non-disabled people as far as possible.

“This investment will ensure that those on the frontline of grassroots sport have easy access to the expertise they need to make this happen.”

South Yorkshire Sport helps to promotes access to a range of disability sports in South Yorkshire, including boccia, goal ball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.

A number of national disability sports events have taken place in South Yorkshire including the British International Disability Swimming Championships 2011 at Ponds Forge in April, and the world goal ball championships in 2010. The English Institute of Sport in Sheffield will also host the British Open Para Table Tennis Championships 2011 in September.