Disability Sports Hub Launched to Develop Disability Sport Throughout the District
On Tuesday 10 April, Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew welcomed pupils, parents, teachers and assistants from St Clare’s Abbey Primary School, St Mark’s Secondary School and Disability Sport NI to Newry Leisure Centre to help launch the district’s first Disability Sports Hub.
The Disability Sports Hub has a wide variety of disability sports equipment including accessible bikes, sports wheelchairs, Boccia sets and other specialist equipment which is to be shared throughout the district as required. It has been set up to help promote the development of Disability Sport throughout Newry, Mourne and Down.
Councillor Mulgrew said: “The Council is delighted to be part of this amazing initiative led by Disability Sport NI. The Disability Sports Hub ensures that Newry, Mourne and Down has a fantastic array of equipment to suit people with a variety of physical needs so that they may enjoy sport at its most challenging.
“Disability Sport NI and the Department for Communities have to be congratulated for their investment and vision. The Council has also invested in this Hub and I am heartened to see the number of staff and volunteers who have trained in the use of the equipment with a view to facilitating Wheelie Active and Boccia sessions in all our centres.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for us all to work together and provide clubs and classes for people with additional needs so that they can improve their skills, health and wellbeing.”
Disability Sport NI Chief Executive, Mr Kevin O’Neill said: “The establishment of a Disability Sports Hub in all eleven of our district council areas is a real game changer for people with disabilities here. Disabled people are currently half as likely to participate in sport as non-disabled people and this initiative will make a huge difference in helping us get more people with disabilities active in every area of Northern Ireland.”
Sport NI Chairperson, Mr George Lucas added: “Sport NI warmly welcomes the launch of the new District Council Disability Sports Hub. These hubs will help support local people with disabilities to enjoy all the physical, mental and social benefits of participation in sport and physical activity. We look forward to continuing to work with Disability Sport NI, the Department for Communities and our other partners, to implement the ‘Active Living: No Limits’ Action Plan and deliver positive change to the social, recreational and sporting lives of people with disabilities across Northern Ireland.”
Through the District Council Disability Sports Hub Project, Disability Sport NI will be supporting the development of sustainable sports clubs including wheelchair basketball, goalball and multi-skills within each hub. The project will raise the visibility of disability sports opportunities and encourage more people with a disability to be active and be the best.
Fergus Devitt, Director of Active Communities at the Department for Communities said: “I am delighted that the Department is able to support the implementation of the disability sector’s ‘Active Living: No Limits’ Action Plan that seeks over the next five years to bring about positive change to the social, recreational and sporting life of people with disabilities.
“Our investment of £1m will increase opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in sporting activities, to provide equipment for disability sports hubs in each council area and also to enable access to several watersports venues and activities.
“It is important that we maintain this impressive start to our collective implementation of the Action Plan, to ensure the continued positive experiences of involvement and inclusion and to promote not only recreational enjoyment of sporting activity but potentially the development of our paralympic champions for the future.”
For further information on any of the above activities for people with physical disabilities please contact: