Sport England funding will increase sporting opportunities for deafblind people

Sense, the national deafblind charity, has been awarded a grant of £424,958 from Sport England to increase opportunities for people with deafblindness to participate in sport and physical activity through its Sporting Sense project.

Sense will use the investment to continue developing a wide range of physical activity programmes for England’s growing deafblind population, who are among the hardest to reach within the disability sector.

Participation in sport has significant physical, mental and emotional benefits, yet over 300,000 people with dual sensory loss in England encounter a number of complex barriers to take part inactivity. The funding from Sport England will enable Sense to develop the pathways that lead to appropriate, safe and accessible sport provision.

Sense’s National Sport Manager, Ian Carpenter, said:

“We know from our experience supporting people with deafblindness, that many encounter barriers to access sport. We believe the opportunity to participate in sport should be open to everyone. This grant from Sport England will enable more deafblind people to experience the benefits that sport provides. We’ll be working in partnership with other organisations supporting them to develop their own programmes. This will increase the demand and available opportunities for deafblind people to take part in meaningful sports activities.”

Sport England’s Director of Insight, Lisa O’Keefe, said:

“Sport England’s new strategy; Towards an Active Nation, sets out a vision that everyone, regardless of their age, background or level of ability feels able to engage in sport and physical activity. Sporting Sense provides the opportunity to do just that, enabling people with deafblindness to experience and enjoy physical activity or sport as part of an active life.”

The ‘Sporting Sense’ project, launched in June 2016, is set to run until May 2018. The project will see Sense setting up targeted sports activities for three different groups of the deafblind population, whilst working across the sports, health and social care sectors. The project will influence the development and delivery of local physical activity plans, which will include working alongside deafblind people.