Published on: 25th May 2011
Using the increased profile of disability sport through the Paralympic Games, we aim to develop and improve accessible sporting pathways for disabled people in West Yorkshire.
Work to date
In 2008 a three-year project was put in place to increase participation in sport by disabled people through the appointment of a dedicated officer. Working with local organisations around 3,300 disabled people have accessed activity programmes through 82
sports clubs and local organisations in dedicated and inclusive environments.
The Playground to Podium programme was introduced in 2009 with the aim of developing a structured pathway for disabled young people in sport.
Concentrating on the sports of football, boccia, swimming, athletics, table tennis and wheelchair basketball the programme involves introduction activities within schools, followed
by a County Athlete Assessment centre where over 100 athletes in West Yorkshire are assessed for their sporting skills.
The most talented are then invited into established sports elite programmes.
The next year
We will be working with and supporting sports clubs across West Yorkshire to ensure they are ready and have the capacity to welcome new members and volunteers leading up to, during and after the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
This will also include encouraging the achievement of the Clubmark quality accreditation scheme for multi-sport clubs. There will also be a focused campaign to promote the numerous opportunities for disabled people across the region.
Playground to Podium
The Playground to Podium initiative will enter its final year in 2012 and we will deliver another West Yorkshire County Athlete Assessment Day for 100 talented young people identified through their schools. We will also
work with local partners to ensure that young disabled people are able to progress in their chosen sport to the level of performance that they desire.
This will involve working with schools, sports clubs and National Governing Bodies of Sport to provide local participation and performance pathways in a variety of sports.
Paralympic Sport ‘taster’ sessions
We will work with local partners to provide a number of Paralympic sports taster sessions for disabled and non- disabled people.
This will increase the profile and understanding of the variety of sports available for disabled people and increase the level of understanding and nature of these sports across the general population.
The national Sportivate, Sport Makers and School Games initiatives will provide a foundation for these projects.
We aim to embed the principles of Playground to Podium within the new school sport structures so that elements of the initiative can continue following the Games in 2012.
Although direct funding for the initiative will cease, we hope to use partner organisations to ensure that a gifted and talented programme for disabled athletes can continue through a range of sports.