Sported grows inclusivity for Dundee disability sport

By Sported |  27th September 2022

Seven community sports groups in the Sported network in Dundee have been provided with resources and training to allow them to become even more inclusive to young disabled people through a pilot programme entitled Project 21.

With 21% of young people in Scotland identifying as disabled
, and 80% of them wishing they were more active, the
 benefits of this project are clear. 

As well as supporting groups directly, Sported also worked with a selection of young people aged between 13-18 who volunteered to take on an extra role in the project. Either identifying as disabled, or showing passion about disability inclusion in sport, the Young Influencer programme provided them with the tools to champion inclusion and become future leaders in their community.   

The Young Influencers met in Tayside for a series of workshop days, covering topics including problem solving, creating change, resilience in sport, as well as wider skills including communication, leadership and confidence. 

With this new knowledge, they designed and planned an event, not only to highlight what they had learned throughout the project, but to showcase and celebrate disability sport. The team got to work, organising all aspects including who they wanted to invite, what activities to include, and how they wanted attendees to learn more about disability inclusion in sport. 

A greater sporting chance

Taking place at Baldragon Academy, the event was a success, with stalls from local community groups, Sport Karate East and Dundee Madisons Basketball Club, and the young influencers themselves. 

Attendees had the chance to play wheelchair basketball, boccia and goalball.  

Ellie Blackstock, Sported Scotland Support Officer said: 

“The event gave people the chance to play sports like goalball and boccia that they wouldn’t usually play. Through this, they were able to learn about how the sports have been adapted for disabled participants.  

“Parents were also asking questions to the stallholders and Young Influencers, and it’s all about building that awareness – that those with a variety of disabilities can play sports and feel the benefits.”

“The Young Influencers have had a massive change in confidence. They’ve met other people like them through this process, and the event was fantastic. They now know that they are the next generation who have the power to make change and have their voices heard – and that other people want to hear it!”  

-Ellie Blackstock, Scotland Support Officer

“We can’t wait to see what they go on to do next, hopefully continuing to shout about the importance of disability inclusion in sport for young people.”  

Project 21 has now expanded into a wider ‘Include’ project, currently rolling out in Glasgow and Northern Ireland.  

Sported appreciates the great assistance from Chance to Succeed Scotland for their partnership in funding the Young Influencer Programme, as well as Scottish Student Sport, Scottish Sport Futures and Scotland Disability Sport for their support.  

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