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New EFDS film promotes support of participation opportunities

Today, EFDS are proud to reveal a new short film which promotes the importance of supporters like Nationwide Building Society. It features personalities such as swimmer Eleanor Simmonds OBE and celebrates the seven year partnership between Nationwide and the Disability Sport Events programme.

Nationwide’s relationship with Disability Sport Events started back in June 2000 when DSE Patron Peter Shilton took the opportunity to raise funds for the charity. Peter Shilton’s endorsement of DSE’s work sowed the seeds for Nationwide’s interest, and soon afterwards a working partnership was forged. They began with bursaries and an awards celebration in 2001, in addition to funding courses for Physiotherapists to learn more about the DSE profiling system. In 2003, Nationwide expanded the support to regional swimming.

It became evident that during those initial few years, Nationwide had already helped DSE to build its strength, expertise and profile of disability sport. The programme, which has a delivery history as far back as 1961, was sure to gain added value from a large corporate supporter.

In 2005, Nationwide realised their potential in a partnership with the Disability Sport Events programme. For them, the events were a great way to develop talent and identify future disabled stars in sport. A £1million sponsorship deal was launched in March 2006 at the DSE National Junior Swimming Championships in Sheffield, following announcement at the Nationwide Junior Sports Awards 2005.  The seven year funding, inclusive of financial year 2012/2013, has been used for:

  • Funding of DSE regional swimming and athletics in all of the Home Countries
  • Part funding of the three swimming and the Junior Athletics nationals
  • Funding of an Events Coordinator at EFDS
  • Funding the established annual Nationwide Junior Sports Awards

Under the banner "Creating Champions Together", Nationwide and Disability Sport Events have inspired, developed and provided for many disabled sports men and women. We are proud that the partnership has been fundamental in the swimming and athletics development programmes leading up to and beyond 2012.

The partnership with Nationwide Building Society comes to a close end of March 2013. Both parties look back at many years of success and realise the relationship has been a prime example of corporate team work.

Ellie Simmonds OBE, Paralympic gold medallist, swam at her first national meet at the DSE Championships, when she was nine years old. She recalls:


“These events have enabled me to compete from an early stage in my development with other disabled swimmers and I have been able to watch and learn from the top swimmers while progressing through the ranks”


Other participants are keen to promote the DSE programme as a pathway for participation opportunities. Many teachers now ensure the National Junior Athletics Championships is the feature on their sporting calendar. Simon Harris, Head of PE at Wilson Stuart School said: 

“As a PE teacher, you always want your students to test the skills they have acquired against other students from around the country and DSE provide these opportunities in abundance.
In addition, they never fail to recognise the importance of the social benefits which are to be gained from getting large groups of students together away from their school and home setting. Students need these opportunities to develop their communication and social skills and sport provides a fantastic medium to develop this”


We are proud to reveal the short film, which highlights just some of the personalities. It emphasises the importance of sport for all, at every level- from grassroots to international- and how corporate supporters can make sporting dreams come true through the Disability Sport Events programme. We are now looking to expand our events programme supporters. If you would like to support participation opportunities, we would like to hear from you.

Watch the video here

To find out more about the events programme, contact us