Parasport powered by Toyota, an online hub to empower disabled people who want to become more active, has launched a new £250,000 fund for registered sport and leisure activity providers, so they can apply for grants to improve and expand their activities for disabled people.
The new Toyota Parasport fund opens today and will be delivered in partnership with the British Paralympic Association, Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland, Disability Sport Wales and Scottish Disability Sport.
Parasport empowers disabled people and their networks by providing the information, inspiration and confidence they need to become active. The Parasport.org.uk hub was launched in March 2019 and already has more than 1,600 activity providers offering disabled people opportunities to become more active.
The new UK-wide funding programme has the backing of ParalympicsGB athletes including multiple Paralympic swimming gold medallist Bethany Firth from Northern Ireland. Prior to starting swimming lessons as a pupil at Longstone Special School, Bethany had a fear of water, having fallen into a pool as a four-year-old on holiday in Australia.
Bethany said: “I think it’s amazing what the Toyota Parasport Fund is doing because so many people don’t have the opportunity to try a sport or get involved. There are so many different sports out there and everyone has a different sport that they might enjoy. People can get into sport for so many other reasons than winning a medal, whether that’s for the health benefits or the social side.
“If I hadn’t had the opportunity through my school to get involved in swimming, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I wouldn’t have the medals I’ve won. For Toyota to create the opportunity is amazing.”
Andrew Cullis, Toyota GB Marketing Director said: “We are extremely proud to launch the Toyota Parasport Fund as the next step in our support of inclusive sport and activity in the UK. Alongside our partners from Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland, Disability Sport Wales and Scottish Disability Sport, we have a fantastic opportunity to improve the options available to disabled people to get active and make a lasting impact on the grassroots landscape.”
Mike Sharrock, Chief Executive at the British Paralympic Association said: “Thanks to the launch of the Toyota Parasport Fund we are delighted to offer clubs registered on the Parasport website the chance to apply for grants to further improve the opportunities they offer to disabled people. Parasport is a crucial part of helping us to deliver our vision: through sport, inspire a better world for disabled people. It enables us to highlight the wide range of opportunities available for disabled people and these grants will help improve the experience of disabled people taking part in physical activity across the country and will be a welcome boost to the array of activity providers registered with Parasport.”
Activity providers from across the UK who have registered on Parasport are eligible to apply for support to improve the quality and quantity of sport and activities available to disabled people. To find out more or to make an application, search Toyota Parasport Fund.
Please direct media enquiries to Paul Cox, Head of Communications at the British Paralympic Association, via: firstname.lastname@example.org 07766 991152.
Notes to Editors
About the British Paralympic Association and ParalympicsGB
The British Paralympic Association is the National Paralympic Committee for the UK, responsible for the promotion of the Paralympic movement in Great Britain and selecting, entering and funding the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic team.
ParalympicsGB is the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic Team competing at the summer and winter Paralympic Games. We know that the outstanding performances of our athletes have a powerful impact on the British public and can shift perceptions of disability in society, helping to inspire a better world for disabled people.
Our partners are tremendous supporters of the BPA and ParalympicsGB both through direct funds as well as their own fundraising activity. Further details are available at http://paralympics.org.uk/partners.
About Sport England
Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport. It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active – like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.
About Sport Northern Ireland
As presenting partner of Parasport.org.uk, Toyota are working with Paralympics GB, Sport NI and Mencap NI to improve the quality and quantity of sports and activities available to people with impairments in Northern Ireland through the Toyota Parasport Fund.
The training will be delivered by Mencap’s Disability Equality Officer who has first-hand experience of living with a learning disability. It will improve accessibility in sports facilities by providing staff with a greater understanding and awareness of learning disability.
Toyota are working with Sport NI and Mencap NI to improve the quality and quantity of sports and activities available to people with impairments in Northern Ireland through the Toyota Parasport Fund. The Toyota Parasport Fund in Northern Ireland will support Mencap NI to deliver learning disability awareness training across multiple sports and leisure facilities in Northern Ireland. The learning disability training is delivered by Mencap’s Disability Equality Officer who has first-hand experience of living with a learning disability. The training will improve accessibility in sports facilities by providing staff within sports and leisure facilities with a greater understanding and awareness of learning disability.
About Sport Wales
Toyota are working in partnership with ParalympicsGB to support the development of the inclusive sports clubs across the UK. In Wales, in partnership with Disability Sport Wales and Sport Wales, Toyota are providing resources for clubs working towards one of the standards of insport Club to access FREE inclusive education and training. This collaborative approach ensures that clubs volunteers across Wales are supported to thrive and to keep developing their inclusive offer to disabled children, young people and adults.