£45k boost to develop disability sports across Mid and East Antrim

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has secured £45,000 of equipment to develop and deliver disability sports across the borough.

Aubrey Bingham from Disability Sport NI pictured alongside the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Paul Reid and Conor Cunning from Sport NI

The funding comes from Department of Communities through Sport NI to set up a Disability Hub Programme.

Disability Sport NI will be supporting the development of sustainable sports clubs including wheelchair basketball, goalball and multi-skills within each hub. This project will raise the visibility of disability sports opportunities and encourage more people with a disability to be active.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Cllr Paul Reid said, “This funding from Sport NI and the Department for Communities is invaluable to the Borough. This programme not only enables Council to deliver a wide variety of programmes to promote physical activity but will help build a better future for generations to come.

“I feel passionately about encouraging people to become involved in sport and as a council we consistently promote and develop all types of sporting and fitness activities. Building healthier communities is a key priority for council and essential funding like this will help us achieve that.”

Kevin O’Neill, Disability Sport NI’s Chief Executive said,

“The establishment of a Disability Sports Hub in all eleven of our Council areas is a real game changer for people with disabilities here. Disabled people are currently half as likely to participate in sport as non-disabled people and this initiative will make a huge difference in helping us get more people with disabilities active in every area of Northern Ireland.”

Fergus Devitt, Director of Active Communities at the Department for Communities said: “I am delighted that the Department is able to support the implementation of the disability sector’s ‘Active Living: No Limits’ Action Plan that seeks over the next 5 years to bring about positive change to the social, recreational and sporting life of people with disabilities.

“Our investment of £1m will increase opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in sporting activities, to provide equipment for disability sports hubs in each Council area and also to enable access to several water sports venues and activities.

“It is important that we maintain this impressive start to our collective implementation of the Action Plan, to ensure the continued positive experiences of involvement and inclusion and to promote not only recreational enjoyment of sporting activity but potentially the development of our paralympic champions for the future.”

Sport Northern Ireland Chair George Lucas added, “Sport Northern Ireland warmly welcomes the launch of the new Council Disability Sports Hubs. These hubs will help support local people with disabilities to enjoy all the physical, mental and social benefits of participation in sport and physical activity. We look forward to continuing to work with Disability Sport NI, the Department for Communities and our other partners, to implement the Active Living: No Limits Action Plan and deliver positive change to the social, recreational and sporting lives of people with disabilities across Northern Ireland.”

Photograph: Aubrey Bingham from Disability Sport NI pictured alongside the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Paul Reid and Conor Cunning from Sport NI