Disability sports hubs in Northern Ireland have been given backing by a new partnership which could lead to greater investment in specialist sports equipment in the country.
Disability Sport NI and Progressive Building Society have signed a three-year deal to support the development of the hubs across Northern Ireland.
The new programme will develop over 11,000 participation opportunities for people with disabilities, increasing access to disability sports.
The sponsorship will continue the work of the ‘Active Living: No Limits 2021 Action Plan’, which has already seen around £1m of disability sports equipment secured for the sector through Disability Sport NI.
Darina Armstrong, Progressive Building Society’s chief executive, said: “Progressive has been operating for over 100 years with 12 branches across Northern Ireland and we are committed to making a valuable contribution to local people and communities.
“That is why we are so passionate about supporting the significant impact that Disability Sport NI is having on the health and well-being of those living with a disability across Northern Ireland.
“Our staff are looking forward to supporting Disability Sport NI in their vision for an inclusive society and we are very excited about this partnership which is set to take disability sports to a new level.”
Kevin O’Neill, chief executive officer of Disability Sport NI, said: “This project realises the beginning of our long-term vision to bring disability sports clubs and programmes to people with a disability in every area of Northern Ireland.
“We are totally committed to building a more inclusive society where people with disabilities have the same opportunity as non-disabled people to lead a full, active and healthy lifestyle through sport and active recreation.
“We are delighted with the support of Progressive which will help us improve the lives of thousands of disabled people across Northern Ireland through sport and active recreation. Progressive is a great partner for our charity and we look forward to fully embracing a strong working relationship with them.”
The Disability Sports Hub Project will continue to develop new clubs and programmes to include programmes such as wheelie active, wheelchair basketball, boccia, sensory and inclusive cycling.
CLICK HERE to read an online guide for people looking to get into adaptive sports.