Disability sport gets £173k boost

SMILE Through Sport is celebrating after being awarded £173,835 of National Lottery funding from Sport England.

Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 12:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 12:46 pm
Paralympian Stephen Miller with Smile Through Sport participants.

The project aims to help low income families, in particular families with a disabled member, in Northumberland get active with their children.

Four out of five primary school children do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise of 60 minutes a day, and are missing out on the benefits it brings. Children from low income families are most likely to do very little physical activity.

The SMILE Together project is one of the first projects to receive investment from a £40million National Lottery funding pot that Sport England has dedicated to helping families get active.

Stephen Miller, founder of SMILE Through Sport, said: “We are thrilled to receive National Lottery funding. This project will allow us to work with families in Northumberland helping them to become active together. The project will benefit families greatly by enhancing their skills and confidence to do more sport and physical activity together. When I was younger my family had to learn how to include me in sport and activities and I’m really pleased I now get to help other families.”

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The fund is a key part of Sport England’s focus on helping young people have an enjoyable experience of sport and physical activity so they develop a positive attitude towards being active at an early age and continue being active in later life.

Sport England are funding organisations that help families get active together, because parents and close family members can have a big impact on children’s experiences. As well as giving children direct access to sporting opportunities, Sport England research shows that they are also significant role models in helping their children get active – because how a parent behaves impacts what a child sees as important.

Parents who are active themselves, and enjoy it, can encourage positive feelings about exercise and its value in their children. Yet many parents lack the skills or confidence to take part in sport with their children as they fear they cannot keep up, or for families with a disabled child they lack the knowledge of knowing how to include the whole family in sport or physical activities.

Each of the funded projects will work to address this by building families confidence around getting active together, and by providing experiences for families that are enjoyable, convenient and low cost.

SMILE Through Sport creates opportunities for disabled individuals of all ages and abilities to take part in sport and physical activities across the North East of England.

The SMILE Together project will work with families from Northumberland who have a disabled family member, either a child or parent, to become active as a whole family unit. Through training courses and resource packs families will learn skills, gain knowledge and become confident to take part and remain active in sport and physical activity with all members of the family being involved.

Sport England’s director of children and young people, Jayne Molyneux said: “It’s not right that four in five children don’t get enough exercise and are missing out on the health benefits it brings. Just by seeing their parents being active, children can be inspired to do the same, and if they have an enjoyable experience they’re far more likely to continue as an adult.

“Parents have many demands on their time, and often lack the confidence to get active with their children. That’s why Sport England is working hard to make getting active with your children an easy choice. With this new National Lottery funding, SMILE Though Sport will be able to provide family fun days and challenge days, as well as giving families creative ideas for activities to play as a whole family unit.”