Lottery cash award to give disabled a sporting chance

DISABLED people in North Somerset will soon be able to take part in a wider variety of sports thanks to a cash boost.

North Somerset Council’s new Sportarray project has been given �34,000 of National Lottery funding to set up more activities for disabled people in the district.

The Sportarray project is now hoping to provide disability awareness training for sports clubs and promote clubs that welcome disabled young people and adults.

Existing sports clubs will be supported through the project to provide inclusive and dedicated coaching sessions for disabled young people and adults.

Rebecca Stathers, sport and active lifestyles manager for North Somerset, said: “It’s really exciting news. Only 44 organisations received the funding so we’re really pleased and excited to develop sports groups for disabled people in the district.

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“We would now like to hear from sports clubs which want to provide dedicated or inclusive opportunities for people with disabilities.”

The council has also teamed up with Backwell charity Motivation, which runs the South West Scorpions wheelchair basketball team in Bristol.

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Thanks to the funding, members of the club will be going into schools across North Somerset to teach wheelchair basketball to pupils to give youngsters the chance to try out the sport and to try to put a stop to bullying.

North Somerset Council applied for the lottery funding due to a lack of sports clubs in the area for disabled people.

In August, the authority surveyed 99 people with disabilities, ranging from physical and learning difficulties to mental health issues and visual impairment, as well as the organisations which support them.

Nearly 70 per cent of respondents said they wanted to participate in more sport, but listed a lack of suitable clubs as a barrier and 74 per cent said they would like to see a mixture of inclusive and dedicated sporting opportunities.

Over the next three years the Sportarray project will help to encourage 570 disabled young people and adults in North Somerset to play sport regularly.

Any clubs interested in finding out more about the project can contact Rebecca on 01275 882733 or email

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