Thank you for helping us help more

Firstly, I wanted to say another big thank you to everyone for their support in the Persimmon Homes Healthy Communities ballot which saw us come runners-up out of 5,000 national charities – a fantastic achievement. As you will read in the newsletter, money has been used to start our weekly Junior section again, the first session of which was a roaring success.

We are also very grateful to everyone who participated in our Impact survey which has enabled us to record the positive difference SportsAble is having on the community and its members. We will be making this available for everyone to read on our website very soon.

RBWM has also recently confirmed that planning permission has been granted for the new leisure centre which will be located next to us. Our resident swimming coach Chris Humphris was involved in the consultation for the new swimming pool, ensuring disability access and provision would be sufficient for our members to use.

However, despite the £35 million investment in the new centre, there is still not adequate time or space to deliver enough affordable, grass roots sporting opportunities for people with disabilities. Therefore, SportsAble is continuing to progress with its vision to create a sport, health and well-being centre designed specifically to meet the needs of disabled users.

We have just had a really positive meeting with Sport England at RBWM to discuss how SportsAble can expand and upgrade its premises so that it can offer more sports to more disabled people in the community and beyond. We will keep you updated on the progress of this.

Affordability can be an obstacle for disabled people which is why SportsAble membership is just £75 per year and gives our members free access to all our sporting sessions with trained coaches. We believe that money shouldn’t be a barrier to disabled people playing sport which is another reason why we want to increase our capacity and opportunities for affordable, inclusive sport. SportsAble has also set up a bursary to ensure that any members who do have financial difficulties can write to kerl.haslam@sportsable.co.uk to request assistance and each case will be reviewed privately and with discretion.

To help us present our case for better and bigger facilities to RBWM and Sport England we are asking people to share their experiences and stories of accessibility issues in sporting clubs and organisations around the Borough. We appreciate those people who have already taken the time to do this. If you have an experience you would like to share, and one that you think would raise awareness of the issues disabled people face, please write to us at info@sportsable.co.uk.

Plus, if you would like to get involved in raising funds for SportsAble, please look at all the different ways you can help here.

Kerl Haslam

CEO, SportsAble