Mid Ulster District Council has opened a brand new Disability Sports Hub at Mid Ulster Sports Arena as part of a regional initiative funded by the Department for Communities through Sport NI. This £500,000 project delivered in all eleven Council areas is part of the Active Living: No Limits 2021 Action Plan to improve the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities in Northern Ireland through participation in sport and active recreation.

The hub, based at the Cookstown site, will providing a range of sports equipment including wheelchairs, inclusive bikes and inclusive sports equipment to enable children and adults with disabilities to participate in at least 14 different sports and activities, including  Wheelchair Sports, Sensory Sports (partially-sighted football etc), Boccia and Inclusive Cycling.

As well as raising the visibility of disability sport and increasing interest among the whole community, the initiative primarily aims to increase the number of people with disabilities who live active and healthy lifestyles through sport and active recreation.

Sport Northern Ireland Chair George Lucas commented:

“Sport Northern Ireland warmly welcomes the launch of the new District Council Disability Sports Hubs. 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.”

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Cllr. Kim Ashton welcomed the opening of the Disability Sports Hub, saying,

“Disability Sports Hubs provide a fantastic opportunity for people with all different types of impairments to get into sport. As part of delivering for our people within our district, we want to make sport accessible to everyone and this new Disability Sports Hub at Mid Ulster Sports Arena will make a huge difference in achieving that aim.”

At the recent launch in Belfast, Kevin O’Neill, Disability Sport NI’s Chief Executive said,

“The establishment of a Disability Sports Hub in all eleven of our District Council areas, including Mid Ulster, 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.’

Disability Sport NI and Mid Ulster District Council will also develop and implement a two-year plan from 2017 – 2019 to encourage and support people with different disabilities to participate in sport and active recreation through the Disability Sports Hub.

For more information on the initiative, contact Eunan Murray, Senior Leisure Development Officer, Mid Ulster District Council, on 03000 132 132.

Pictured at Mid Ulster Sports Area, road-testing the new Disability Sports Hub equipment are Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Cllr. Kim Ashton; Tony Murphy, Head of Sport for the Department of Communities; Conleth Donnelly, Development Officer for Sport NI; Aubrey Bingham, Development Officer with DSNI; Kathleen Brogan, Everybody Active Coach and Eunan Murray, Senior Leisure Development Officer, Mid Ulster District Council, along with members of the Cookstown Superstars Club.