People living with a disability across the Causeway Coast and Glens are set to benefit from a new Sports Hub.

The health and wellbeing project is delivered by Disability Sport NI and funded by the Department for Communities through Sport NI. It’s part of the Active Living: No Limits 2021 Action Plan to improve the lives of people with disabilities across Northern Ireland through participation in sport and active recreation.

As part of the scheme, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has received a disability equipment pack which includes sports wheelchairs, a rugby wheelchair, track chairs, hand cycles, tandem bikes, trikes, boccia sets and a sensory activity pack. Staff members recently took part in a two-day training programme, delivered by Disability Sport NI, to familiarise themselves with the equipment as they prepare to roll out the scheme.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE, said: “We are delighted to receive this equipment which will make a real difference to the lives of those living with a disability across our area by helping to ensure sport is accessible to everyone. Alongside the physical benefits, the hub will provide a positive environment for participants which allows them to experience sport’s social and recreational benefits which are so important to overall wellbeing.”

Sport Northern Ireland Board Member Wilma Erskine added: “Sport NI is committed to helping more people enjoy, engage and excel in sport. This new Disability Sports Hub will help support people with disabilities in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area to get active, get involved and enjoy all the physical, mental and social benefits of participation in sport and physical activity. We are delighted to have supported the District Council Disability Sports Hubs project as part of the Active Living: No Limits Action Plan, and look forward to continuing to work with our partners to 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. The project will raise the visibility of disability sports opportunities and encourage more people with a disability to be active and be the best.

Kevin O’Neill, Disability Sport NI’s Chief Executive said: “The establishment of a Disability Sports Hub in all eleven of our 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.”

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 5 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.”