Living Sport manages the Stepping Stone project on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council. Stepping Stone aims to encourage regular sports participation for anyone over the age of 14 with a disability or long term health need and covers the full spectrum of additional needs. The project is also funded by Sport England’s Inclusive Sport Fund as part of the National Lottery Places, People, Play programme.
To date, the project has engaged with nearly 200 individuals and successfully supported them to become regular participants, coaches and officials in their desired sport at local clubs and sports settings. Living Sport has continued to build on the good work that had already been carried out in 2015, however funding is only available until 29th February 2016.
Stepping Stone provides funding to help support more people to try out a new sport with the view to joining a local sports club as a participant, coach, volunteer or official. Many participants said that they would recommend the project to others and that the activity offered was suitable for their needs. They were able to develop new skills, enjoyed the activity and felt included.
One of the highlights of the project from 2015 was working with Papworth Trust to set up a Table Tennis group in Papworth Everard in partnership with St Neots Table Tennis club. The partnership provided the opportunity for disabled people in the village to access Table Tennis on their doorstep by removing the barrier of transport to get to St Neots. The taster session that was run turned into a regular sessions which continues to see regular numbers in attendance.
Papworth Tennis Club has also been supported to set up Wheelchair Tennis sessions. Again after successful tasters, regular sessions have been running since September 2015.
Rebecca Gilbertson, Disability Sport Coordinator at Living Sport, who leads on Stepping Stone, commented: ‘As a disabled person myself I know first-hand how difficult it can be for someone to have the courage to try something outside of their comfort zone, but I have also seen how sport and leading a healthy active lifestyle can change lives and enable people to become valued members of their community. I hope we can continue to use Stepping Stone to help people make the steps they need to try sport and see the benefits for themselves’
Anyone interested in finding out more about Stepping Stone and how Living Sport can help support people to access new sports activities should contact Rebecca Gilbertson 01487 849929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Living Sport is happy to support and advise individuals and sports clubs.