Award season is upon us! The London Sport Awards, that is. Nominations are currently open, and in March 2018 we’ll see some of our greatest sporting heroes descend upon Wembley Stadium (and no, I don’t mean Jordan Henderson and Jake Livermore).
The Awards, on the evening of March 8 2018, will be a celebration of the most passionate and influential people responsible for changing the lives of thousands of Londoners through physical activity and sport.
There are seven hotly contested awards open for nominations covering the breadth of London Sport’s work. Or do they? Because the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed there appears to be an omission; there’s no disability award.
At first this might appear like an over-site, especially in the context of the recently launched An Active Inclusive Capital. But if we were to have a separate award, we’d be sending the wrong message, and would be contrary to our commitment to embed disability in all that we do.
Take another look at the award categories and think about how clubs or projects for deaf and disabled people, or even better, with deaf and disabled people at their heart, could be worthy contenders for each and every award. Think about all the fantastic disabled coaches and volunteers, the technological innovations impacting positively on deaf and disabled people’s lives, or the inclusive clubs offering amazing sporting experiences to everyone who comes through their doors.
Disability inclusion in all that we do
The point is that if we are to enable deaf and disabled people to be as active as non-disabled people, disability inclusion needs to be integral to all that we do. We need to change the culture so it’s not a nice-to-do or an afterthought; it is what we do!
So my challenge to you is to nominate and contribute to an Awards where the shortlist for every category contains at least one nominee that positively impacts on the lives of deaf and disabled people. Or even better, can we unearth a new winner and bring back memories of the pioneering and innovative Sanjuro Martial Arts taking home the Club of the Year Award in 2016 for their work in making martial arts accessible for all.
We want to hear about initiatives where previously inactive deaf and disabled people are enjoying the benefits of being physically active; where disabled and non-disabled people are active together; where an organisation has changed perceptions of sport for deaf and disabled people for the better, or where deaf and disabled people are developing and delivering activities themselves.
As soon as you’ve finished reading this blog, go to our nominations page here, and let us know about the incredible work taking place across the London. We know there’s a lot still to be done if we are to make London An Active Inclusive Capital, but we also know there’s so much already happening for us to celebrate at Wembley on 8 March. I can’t wait to hear all about it.