Sports project for disabled ‘games’ recognition
A project set up by West Oxfordshire District Council to create more opportunities for disabled residents to take part in sport has been granted the prestigious London 2012 Inspire Mark.
The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises exceptional and innovative projects that are inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Council’s ‘In it together’ project offers local disabled people the chance to take part in sporting activities inspired by the Paralympic Games. Launched this month (June), the first round of activities includes tennis, basketball and boccia.
Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Local Economy and Communities, said: “This exciting project gives people the opportunity to take part in sports that they would not otherwise have the chance to do and it has got off to a brilliant start.
“We are absolutely delighted to receive the London 2012 Inspire Mark. This is a real achievement for the project and we will be continuing to work on other initiatives that increase accessibility to sports and leisure activities for disabled people in West Oxfordshire.”
Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, said: “The Inspire programme is ensuring the legacy of the 2012 Games starts now as projects like In it together are enabling people in West Oxfordshire to make positive life changes.”
Basketball and boccia sessions are running in Carterton and tennis in Broadwell during the summer. From September to December, there will be volleyball sessions in Carterton and boccia and trampolining in Witney. The final sessions of the programme starting early 2012 are yet to be scheduled.
A group of 10 disabled people have been taking part in boccia sessions at Carterton Community Centre (pictured). Boccia is a target ball Paralympic sport for athletes with disabilities that affect their motor skills.
One of the group members, Phillip Kay, of Carterton, said: “I think it’s great. I’ve never done anything like this before. I like winning and next time I’m going to be the umpire and I’m really looking forward to that.”
In it together is funded by Sport England’s Lottery Fund and will run until March 2012. It includes support and training for local clubs and coaches to work with disabled people and develop inclusive opportunities.
The project is part of a wider remit of work by the Council to make sports, arts and leisure services in West Oxfordshire more inclusive and accessible to all.
Visit www.westoxon.gov.uk/inittogether or call 01993 861080 for more information about In it together or, for details of the Council’s work on inclusion in sports see www.westoxon.gov.uk/fairplay or call 01993 861557.
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