The diverse needs of disabled people in London sit at the heart of a new strategic plan of action to ensure disabled people of all ages are supported in being active by making it easier for organisations across the capital to work together and create a simpler approach to providing inclusive opportunities.
On the eve of International Day for Disabled People, the headline ambitions of a strategic plan of action for London can be revealed, arising from extensive consultation with leading organisations including Inclusion London, Disability Rights UK, The FA and Wembley National Stadium Trust.
Building on progress made since the announcement of London Sport’s merger with disability equality specialists, Interactive, in April 2016, the new plan will sit alongside London’s Blueprint for a Physically Active City providing a framework for organisations across London to better understand and represent the needs of disabled people in forming part of the physical activity and sport environment.
Underpinned by theory of change principles, the plan will focus on enabling greater understanding and collaboration around working with disabled people throughout the physical activity and sport sector, including firm commitments to enhance existing partnerships and provide greater representation for disabled people throughout the sector.
As part of the plan, London Sport is committed to:
- Supporting groups that work with disabled people to help them understand the benefits of promoting active lifestyles
- Engendering cross-sector partnerships that will work specifically to benefit disabled people
- Influencing policy makers to increase meaningful consultation with disabled people
- Supporting efforts to bring more disabled people in to volunteer and paid positions throughout sport’s workforce
- Advocating for increased funding associated with increasing impact of physical activity and sport for disabled people
Alongside London Sport’s commitments are clear priorities for the wider physical activity and sport and disability sectors, including:
- A need for providers of physical activity and sport to recruit a more diverse and representative workforce
- Prioritisation of disability inclusion and disability equality training for all aspects of the physical activity and sport workforce
- A commitment to deliver inclusive and accessible opportunities for disabled people to be physically active
In recent years, significant strides have been made in bolstering support for disability sport in London, with the widespread adoption of the Mayor of London’s Inclusive and Active 2 strategy in the aftermath of the London 2012 Paralympic Games marking a significant shift in approach to developing inclusive opportunities across the physical activity and sport sector, and throughout its workforce.
Commenting on the development of the strategic plan of action, Angus Robertson, Director of Operations, London Sport said:
“When London Sport and Interactive merged earlier this year, our shared ambition was to ensure that disabled people remained crucial to our vision of getting 1,000,000 Londoners more physically active by 2020.
“The impact of working in an integrated way with a team of disability equality specialists is directly apparent within this plan, and London Sport is committed to sharing this expertise with the wider sector to help enable every disabled person to have access to physical activity and sport opportunities of their choice, whatever level they wish to take part at.
“We would now welcome any organisation working in the capital to feed into the final development of this plan to ensure that it has buy-in from as wide a coalition as possible.”
London Sport will be rolling out details of the disability strategic plan of action from early-2017 and will issue regular updates on progress made. Organisations looking to work with London Sport on enhancing disabled people’s opportunities in physical activity and sport or feeding into the plan ahead of its completion should contact Alex Gibbons, Disability Programme Manager, London Sport on [email protected] or 020 7868 5055.