Lucy Moorhouse, fundraiser for The Grace Eyre charity, explains how Sport England’s £10.2 million boost for disability sport will help her organisation create new and exciting opportunities for people with learning disabilities.
It seems only yesterday when we were all glued to our television screens, full of pride, watching David Weir and Jonnie Peacock win their gold medals in the stadium and Ellie Simmonds swim to victory to win her second gold in the pool.
Not to mention all the other incredible athletes during the Paralympics 2012 – it was an inspirational time for the London games and Team GB! So much so that now, four months later, organisations in the UK are already doing what they can to join together and give support to facilities, clubs and venues in making necessary changes to allow and encourage those with a disability to enjoy sports.
At Grace Eyre we are delighted to be a part of this change.
Last week we were told we had successfully won a bid with our partners, Outreach 3 Way, Special Olympics Brighton and Hove, Badminton England and Freedom Leisure for a three year Sport England project.
From acknowledging that only between 5-10% of people with learning disabilities are active, we hope that through starting this project, this figure will go up across Brighton & Hove and West Sussex.
Building a network
Our main objectives are to not only increase people participating in sports, but also to recruit and train volunteers and coaches, deliver sports competitions to athletes and work in partnership with sports governing bodies, such as Badminton England, Special Olympics and the excellent venues available through Freedom Leisure. Each of these aims will hugely benefit people with learning disabilities and create new and exciting sporting opportunities for them.
Grace Eyre is linked to a very dedicated Special Olympics team and with two of our Service Users training to run the Brighton Marathon 2013, plus recently winning three medals at The Mid-Sussex Marlins Disability Gala, we are seeing the benefits, not just from the Paralympics, but first hand of how sport positively affects people with learning disabilities. And we will continue to see, through this project, how even more lives in Brighton and Hove and West Sussex will be transformed through participating in sport.