Whilst I have huge admiration for those who are able bodied and sporty, I am awe of those people who develop a chronic illness and refuse to let it stop them being engaged in sporting activities. One of my incredible friends and fellow admins at Younger FND Fighters is one of these people. Though she is in a wheelchair for the majority of the time, she is still devoted to her studies in equine management, rides horses almost daily and STILL has time to play with her wheelchair rugby squad. If that is not superwoman material, I don’t know what is.
In the UK there are over 400 gyms which work with the ‘Inclusive Fitness Initiative’ from the English Federation of Disability Sport.
English Federation of Disability Sport can direct you to a mountain of programmes around the UK and has information about the participation opportunities in your local area. Disability Sport is at an exciting stage in the UK, with over £170 million being invested to make sport a practical and accessible choice for disabled people.
There are a variety of National Disability Sport Organisations (NDSOs) in the UK including:
The national disability sports organisation for wheelchair sport and provides sporting opportunities for men, women and children with physical impairments to take part in a number of sports, including athletics. Based at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games, WheelPower organises a number of sports events at junior and adult level to introduce disabled people to sport. These include the annual National Junior Games, Inter Spinal Unit Games and National Championships.
British Wheelchair Athletics Association (BWAA)
BWAA work with athletes interested in Seated Throws (Shot Put, Discus, Javelin, Club), and pentathlon. BWAA meet at Stoke Mandeville on the second weekend of every month and any person who is interested in taking up throwing or finding out more about coaching or organising a throws group is more than welcome to attend. BWAA have qualified, experienced coaches in attendance at every training weekend.
BWRA promotes the involvement of disabled people in wheelchair racing for athletes, race directors, coaches, teachers, local authorities. It prepares and selects athletes for International Teams and works alongside the UK Athletics World Class Programme in developing athletes to compete at Paralympic level
UKSA Learning Disability is the national charity that facilitates and supports talented athletes with learning disability in the UK to train, compete and excel in national and international sport. Our vision is a society that enables people with learning disability to excel and achieve their full potential in the sport of their choice.
DSE are the events division of the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS). They create participation opportunities for disabled people with all impairments and they provide events & competition opportunities in various sports including athletics.
Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is an exciting new programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Funded by Spirit of 2012, all partners are focused on getting some of the UK's least active people moving more through fun and inclusive activities.