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Sport England and Sainsbury's launch community element of Active Kids for All

Paralympic Gold Medallist Hannah Cockroft and Sophia Warner were with Culture Secretary Maria Miller today and joined Sport England CEO Jennie Price and Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King to announce a new initiative to ensure the inclusion of disabled people in community sport.

Sport England’s £1 million National Lottery investment will fund free training courses to help coaches, leaders, assistants and parents to develop the skills and confidence to include disabled people in sporting activity.

It extends into community clubs the high quality support commitment for teachers through the Sainsbury’s Active Kids for All scheme, creating a seamless approach for disabled people in school and community sport.

Sainsbury’s and Sport England are also working together to encourage thousands of clubs where disabled people play sport to join the successful Sainsbury’s Active Kids scheme. Signing up means the clubs can benefit from collecting & redeeming vouchers in return for equipment and experiences that help its customers and the community to lead healthier, more active lifestyles.

At an event at a community sport centre in north London today, London 2012 double gold medallist Hannah Cockroft joined in a sport session for disabled people and talked about her experiences at the Paralympics. She said:

“Coaches play a big role in people’s sporting experience so it’s important they receive the training that gives them skills to include disabled people in sport and help them get the most out of it.  This could make the difference in disabled people making sport a part of their everyday lives or not playing sport at all.”

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller said: 

“This is exactly the kind of legacy we want to see from the 2012 Paralympic Games. The Paralympics made the UK think about disability differently and I hope that it is the first of many public and private partnerships aimed at developing disability sport at the grassroots.  I am determined that disabled people of all ages get the chance to play sport, both at school and in community sport clubs.”

Investment in training

Sport England’s investment in the training courses will ensure that hundreds of thousands of disabled people benefit from improved sporting opportunities over the next two years.

The courses will be run by the English Federation of Disability Sport, and sports coach UK. Our chief executives, Barry Horne and Tony Byrne were also at Talacre Community Sports Centre today.

Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England, said:

“Paralympic athletes such as Hannah Cockroft have changed sport in this country for good. As we work to ensure that sport is a practical lifestyle choice for disabled people, we need to equip all those involved in community sport with the skills to include everyone. We’re delighted to be working to make sport more inclusive in partnership with Sainsbury’s who deserve huge credit for the commitment they have shown to sport over many years.”

Active Kids for All

Justin King, CEO Sainsbury’s, said:

“Following our landmark Paralympic Games sponsorship and a very exciting year for Sainsbury’s, we are hugely proud that Sport England will be investing an additional £1m in our Active Kids for All initiative delivering sport to disabled people outside of schools. We launched our Active Kids for All Initiative with the knowledge that 80% of all disabled children currently attending mainstream schools may not be fully included in physical education classes. Sport England’s investment takes this commitment outside of the school environment and will enable even more disabled people to benefit from an increased level of training and support. We also hope that by opening up our Active Kids voucher scheme to a wider network of clubs and organisations through Sport England’s community links, we can help children and young adults across the UK to lead healthier, more active lifestyles.”

The number of disabled people playing sport at least once a week has increased by 160,000 over the past year, but there’s much more to do in increasing participation levels. One in six disabled adults play sport regularly, compared to one in three non-disabled adults.

For more information on EFDS's partnership on the Inclusive PE training element of the Active Kids for All programme, please contact EFDS