A new task force is aiming to increase physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities
One in five people in the UK are disabled and the “purple pound” is worth £249bn per year
A special task force has been established to boost physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities.
Part of UK Active’s inclusivity-focused Everyone Can programme, the task force will unite industry leaders, private operators and governing and representative bodies in partnership with organisations such as the Activity Alliance, Sport England, CIMSPA and the Swimming Teachers Association.
The task force will also have the ongoing support of the current UK Active chair, Tanni Grey-Thompson, who will finish her tenure as chair at the end of July and is shortly to begin a new role as chair of Sport Wales.
Together they're aiming to support people with disabilities in meeting their physical activity targets; improving fitness facilities and access; enhancing customer service across leisure centres, clubs and gyms; overcoming barriers; nailing down the terminology and developing ways to effectively capture data to increase understanding.
Before the creation of the task force, UK Active carried out consultations throughout the industry to analyse the status of the disabled community within the physical activity sector. The trade body then launched a new website (everyonecan.ukactive.com).
The task force is encouraging organisations with an interest in increasing inclusivity and accessibility of gyms, fitness facilities and leisure centres to sign up.
The fact sheet shows how improving access to fitness facilities for the disabled community is a societal necessity – one in five people in the UK are disabled and research from the Activity Alliance has found that 81 per cent say they want to increase the amount of exercise they do. There is also a commercial opportunity with the “purple pound” valued at £249bn per year.
Grey Thompson, a Former Paralympian, said: “The physical activity sector has a huge opportunity to engage more with disabled people, helping many more to enjoy the benefits of being active.
“The best way to drive real change is through open and honest collaboration across our sectors, which is why we have created the Everyone Can Task Force.
“Together, the leaders within this group can help support fitness and leisure facilities to make sport and physical activity available to all.”