14/04/2021

Toyota Parasport Fund Boosts grassroots clubs!

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The Toyota Parasport Fund is now bigger and better than ever before!

Launched in November 2019, the exciting UK-wide programme aims to improve accessibility and inclusivity of physical activity in the UK by providing grants for vital equipment and training.

And now, more than £390,000 has been invested in clubs and activity providers, giving them the tools to empower disabled people to enjoy the wide range of benefits of becoming more physically active.

The Toyota Parasport Fund is an existing UK-wide programme through Toyota GB and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and aims to help activity providers improve the quality and quantity of sport and activities available to disabled people.

It delivers opportunities across the home countries and is delivered in partnership with Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland, Disability Sport Wales and Scottish Disability Sport.

Among the 93 successful applicants to receive equipment in England was Norfolk Snowsports Club’s adaptive section.

“We've been running a programme for people with disabilities, but our equipment is very old - out of date - and we wanted to renew it,” said Richard Roberts, adaptive programme co-ordinator at the club.

“In particular, we wanted equipment with a more comfortable seat, better head support, more comfortable strapping and safety harness. That's going to be what we use the Toyota Parasport Fund for.

"The Fund will enable some of the most disabled children and adults to use our facility, who are currently put off by the rather rough condition and discomfort of our current equipment.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) used the investment to run ten Disability Inclusion Training workshops involving 205 participants.

In Northern Ireland, Mencap NI successfully delivered Learning Disability Awareness Training across eight different sports and leisure providers and Disability Sport Wales delivered a range of training to activity providers focussed on topics such as disability inclusion and mental health awareness to 506 candidates.

In April 2020 and with £100,000 partnership funding from Toyota GB, Sport England awarded £351,815 to 93 organisations for the Toyota Parasport Fund, for equipment to support disabled people’s participation in England.

"At Toyota, we are committed to creating a fairer and more inclusive society," Agustín Martín, Toyota (GB) ‎President & Managing Director said.

"The Toyota Parasport Fund is helping to break down the barriers that we know can prevent those with impairments from being able to participate in sport and activity, making a marked difference to communities across the UK."

The total funding will be further boosted later this year with another £200,000 targeted to help clubs bounce back from the impact of Covid-19 in 2021.

Mike Sharrock, Chief Executive of ParalympicsGB, said: “The Toyota Parasport Fund is a huge boost to ensuring activity providers are able to access the equipment and have the training they need to offer the best possible experience for disabled people.

“We want to thank Sport England and Toyota GB for their generous support during these incredibly challenging times for the sector.

“We know disabled people are still far less likely to take part in physical activity than non-disabled people. That is why we relaunched Parasport in 2019.

“We want to ensure everybody has the opportunity to experience the wide range of benefits associated with becoming more active whether it be physical and mental wellbeing, friendship, or the joy of learning something new.”

Watch out for Round 2 opening soon!