Mencap launch the Round the World Challenge
Royal Mencap Society’s Round the World Challenge provides the perfect platform for people with a learning disability to get active.
Engaging inactive people is the driving force of the challenge and the latest edition launched at Southend United’s Roots Hall on 22 January.
The scheme is funded by The National Lottery and Sport England and the society want to address the reality that people with a learning disability are twice as likely to be inactive.
43% of adults with a learning disability are inactive compared to an average of people without impairment of 25% and Mencap hope to change this through the initiative, where fun is the watchword.
Stuart Tyler, Mencap regional project officer for the South of England, played a role in the launch and ensured that the local community rallied together to help engage people.
“The scheme itself has been designed to be as inclusive as possible,” Stuart said. “It’s working with local sports providers and existing sports centres too.
“At the launch, there were taster sessions available for different sports such as bowls and yoga, as well as hub partners showing what they could offer.
“I help to bring services together and facilitate the project for people on the ground who know the community best.”
Ensuring that the local community is engaged is key to the success of the challenge, offering people who are already active an engaging way of measuring their participation and for those who are inactive, a fun way to explore sport.
“The challenge itself is all about becoming fit and active,” Stuart said.
“People with a learning disability set themselves a goal and see how many countries they can visit by taking part in some fun physical activities – whatever it appropriate for their level of need.
“Hours of activity equals distance travelled, so taking part in all sorts of activities over a period of time will take the participants virtually from one country to another.
“Each participant receives a passport and there’s three different routes they can take: UK and Ireland, Europe and the world.
“Once they’ve completed some physical activity, they will virtually go from one location to another e.g. London to Cardiff and receive a postcard from Cardiff congratulating them. They can do it in a group or on their own, any time and any place.”