Today celebrates physical activity and the benefits it can have for people. An event held jointly by the Disability Action Alliance, (DAA), and English Federation for Disability Sport, (EFDS), will bring together sporting organisations with DPULOs to think about how more disabled people can be supported to take part in more physical activity. This work links directly to the EFDS’s Charter for Change.
EFDS published the following press release:
Minister for Disabled People to address organisations on sport and physical activity
On 24 November, representatives from 70 organisations will hear from leaders in disability rights, sport and Government at the Making Active Lives Possible conference. Speakers include the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, who will urge organisations to back the English Federation of Disability Sport’s Charter for Change. The London event unites key game changers with the aim to tackle low disability participation in sport and physical activity.
Held during the UK Disability History Month, the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) and Disability Action Alliance (DAA) have worked together to present a half-day conference at Central Hall Westminster in London. Attendees include Disabled People User-led Organisations, EFDS Members and EFDS Associate Members.
There are over 11 million disabled people in the country and all should have the same opportunities to be active as non-disabled people. Being active can make a huge difference to disabled people’s quality of life. It has many benefits to our own lives and the community we live in, but disabled people are half as likely to be active as non-disabled people.
EFDS is asking organisations, and those who support disabled people, to back the Charter for Change. The national charity believes that everyone has the power to change opinions and increase the number of active disabled people. This includes those within Government, sport, fitness, health, charities, the media and in wider communications.
The Charter outlines three Asks. This conference will focus in particular on the second Ask, which says disabled people will have the same opportunity as non-disabled people to be active throughout their lives. Many disabled people have connections, in some way, to a disability organisation. Given the right support and funding, disability networks can play a crucial role in supporting more people to be active.
Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, said ahead of the event:
“In my role I have seen first-hand how taking part in sport and active recreation can benefit and transform lives. However, disabled people’s participation is much lower than that of non-disabled people and this has to change. That’s why I’m urging organisations to back the English Federation of Disability Sport’s Charter for Change.
“Together we can make sure that in the future disabled people have the same opportunities to be as active and involved in sport as anyone else.”
The organisers hope the event will allow people to talk openly about supporting more disabled people to be active for life.
Barry Horne, Chief Executive for EFDS, said:
“There is still significant amount of work to do until more disabled people can or choose to adopt an active lifestyle. Barriers to participation may be logistical, physical or psychological, and we can’t break these down quickly. In our lives, we have different motivations and particular people influence our actions. As an organisation fighting for change in sport and physical activity, we know we will be much stronger when we are working together collaboratively. That’s why this conference is a great opportunity to strengthen those conversations.”
Liz Sayce, Chair of Disability Action Alliance and Chief Executive for Disability Rights UK, said:
“We should all have equal opportunities to get involved in physical activity – whether it’s swimming, walking with friends or playing a game competitively. If you are living with disability, or a health condition, the barriers can seem enormous. That’s why we want everyone to know they have a right to participate. We are working to break down the barriers and enable more people to do the activities they are interested in, and also explore how their personal budgets can be used for this. Disability Rights UK is working in three areas on a Get Yourself Active project, making this happen.”
Following the presentations, attendees will be able to network as well as share their experience and expertise. This includes engagement, research, marketing and training within sport and physical activity.