SportsAble began as WAMDSAD in 1975 and its founding members are still a part of the Club today. It started with just a handful of members and now has hundreds of people actively taking part in sport each year.
SportsAble wouldn’t be the large, impressive and influential organisation that is today without the passion, vision and drive of its founder members. They got together to form a network of disabled sports clubs and never thought or acted small.
Aiming as high as they possibly could, within a year of setting up they had athletes entered in the 1976 Paralympics and every year since then SportsAble members have had successes at regional, national and Paralympic competitions. SportsAble instantly filled a gap that had been missing for years and continues to do so today.
As members have won international and national recognition and awards so too has the Club itself. In 1996 WAMDSAD won the Top Club Award for the best sports club for the disabled in the UK and the Local Sports Council Award for the best-developed club in the district. In 2001 SportsAble were runners-up in the Sports Club of the Year Awards, organised by the Central Council of Physical Recreation for all voluntary clubs (able bodied and disabled) in the UK.
Over the years SportsAble has impressed the likes of Royalty with visits from The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Princess Anne, HRH the Earl of Wessex and many of the nation’s favourite sporting and entertainment stars are or have been involved with the club: Sir Stephen Redgrave CBE, Sir Terry Wogan, Sir Michael Parkinson CBE, to name just a few.
In all the years and with all its successes SportsAble has never lost the essence of its original mission: to provide fun, friendship and opportunity to disabled people in sport.
Being a member of SportsAble represents more than being a member of a regular sports club. It is about joining a community of friends, of athletes and of volunteers. It is about giving people meaning to their lives and providing them with a platform for greater things.
It is safe to say that SportsAble has done much to change the face of disabled sport in the area.
Read more about our history in this presentation SportsAble 40 Year Celebration Presentation