Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, in partnership with Disability Sport NI, has launched a Disability Sports Hub project at Lough Moss Leisure Centre, Carryduff as part of a province wide initiative.
Funded by the Department for Communities and Sport NI, the project is part of the Active Living: No Limits 2021 Action Plan to improve the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities in Northern Ireland through participation in sport and active recreation.
Lisburn & Castlereagh is one of 11 council areas in Northern Ireland to have received disability sports equipment packs including 12 sports wheelchairs, one rugby wheelchair, three track chairs, five hand cycles, four tandem bikes, three trikes, three boccia sets and one sensory activity pack.
Speaking about the launch of the Disability Sports Hub project, Chairman of the Leisure and Community Development Committee, Alderman James Tinsley said: “On behalf of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, I am extremely delighted to launch the Disability Sports Hub project at Lough Moss Leisure Centre, which will no doubt play an integral role in providing sport and physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities.
“The council’s Sports Development Unit takes great pride in providing an inclusive service and endeavours to provide a range of programmes and activities which inspire and encourage everyone, regardless of their disability, to get active.”
Kevin O’Neill, Disability Sport NI’s Chief Executive said: “The establishment of a Disability Sports Hub in all 11 of our district council areas is a real game changer for people with disabilities here. Disabled people are currently half as likely to participate in sport as non-disabled people and this initiative will make a huge difference in helping us get more people with disabilities active in every area of Northern Ireland.”
Sport Northern Ireland Chair George Lucas added: “Sport Northern Ireland warmly welcomes the launch of the new District Council Disability Sports Hubs. These hubs will help support local people with disabilities to enjoy all the physical, mental and social benefits of participation in sport and physical activity. We look forward to continuing to work with Disability Sport NI, the Department for Communities and our other partners, to implement the Active Living: No Limits Action Plan and deliver positive change to the social, recreational and sporting lives of people with disabilities across Northern Ireland.”
Through the District Council Disability Sports Hub Project, Disability Sport NI will be supporting the development of sustainable sports clubs including wheelchair basketball, goalball and multi-skills within each hub. The project will raise the visibility of disability sports opportunities and encourage more people with a disability to be active and be the best.
Fergus Devitt, Director of Active Communities at the Department for Communities said: “I am delighted that the department is able to support the implementation of the disability sector’s ‘Active Living: No Limits’ Action Plan that seeks over the next five years to bring about positive change to the social, recreational and sporting life of people with disabilities.
“Our investment of £1m will increase opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in sporting activities, to provide equipment for disability sports hubs in each council area and also to enable access to several watersports venues and activities.
“It is important that we maintain this impressive start to our collective implementation of the Action Plan, to ensure the continued positive experiences of involvement and inclusion and to promote not only recreational enjoyment of sporting activity but potentially the development of our Paralympic champions for the future.”
For further information about Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Disability Sports Hub, call Sports Development Officer, Faron Morrison on 028 9081 1969.