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Stepping Stone Supporting Disabled People into Activity

Living Sport’s Stepping Stone project is off to a great start, with a number of people signing up for support to get involved in a sports club or physical activity. Stepping Stone aims to encourage regular sports participation for anyone with a disability or long term health need and covers the full spectrum of additional needs. The project is funded by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation’s the John Steward Memorial Fund and Health Fenland Fund.

Stepping Stone can support individuals with information and advice on how to get active and link them up to sports and physical activity opportunities across the county, giving them the support they need to be able to get active. The support might just be signposting in the right direction, sourcing of appropriate activities or could include a grant of up to £50 to get someone started. To get support all you need to do is register for the project by contacting Rebecca Gilbertson rebecca.gilbertson@livingsport.co.uk 01487 849929.

Anyone can self-refer for support as long as they have some kind of disability, health condition or additional need. All they need is the motivation to want to try a sport and get active, with the goal of continuing if they find an activity that suits them.

The results of Living Sport’s disability sport consultation said 4 in 10 would like  to do sport in a mainstream sports setting with support; over 65% of disabled people who are not currently participating want to get involved in sport or physical activity. This project is perfect for helping those people not already engaged in sport and helping to address any individual challenges as to why they are not currently participating.

Living Sport will also be working with sports clubs and activity providers who want to be accessible and inclusive to ensure that they are appropriately skilled and confident to welcome disabled people into their club.

From the previous project 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. Previously individuals with a range of disabilities accessed 16 different sports at 24 different sports clubs. People we are currently supporting are looking at a range of sports including Goalball, Tennis, Swimming, horse riding, running, Football and going to the gym.

One participant who used to play tennis before becoming disabled commented:

“Thanks for organising the wheelchair tennis at Papworth.  I really enjoyed it, this was the first sport that I had done apart from swimming since 1979. I was so tired after the session but it made me feel so good it was worth it”

Rebecca Gilbertson, Disability Sport Coordinator at Living Sport, who will be leading on Stepping Stone, commented:  ‘Stepping Stone project is exciting to be involved with and work with individuals on a personal level to find the solution for them. 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 rebecca.gilbertson@livingsport.co.uk.   Living Sport is happy to support and advise individuals and sports clubs.

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