THE London 2012 Paralympics Games will leave a lasting local legacy in North Worcestershire after an £80,000 investment in sports was secured by a partnership of local authorities.

A range of new and improved disability and inclusive sports opportunities will now come to residents across the Redditch, Bromsgrove, and Wyre Forest areas over the next three years.

Sport England’s Inclusive Sport fund, part of the Olympic legacy programme, accepted a detailed bid made by the councils whose stated aims included creating new opportunities for people with disabilities and aims to provide activity for everyone aged 14 plus within 15 minutes of where they live.

The project will also focus around creating a referral pathway so local people can find out about accessible activities more easily.

Working with local partners, the project will create a volunteering programme for people with disabilities to enable them to gain experience with sports clubs. Funding has been acquired to fund coaching qualifications for both volunteers and carers.

Redditch councillor Luke Stephens, who is responsible for leisure services, said: “We’re delighted because everyone wants to be a part of the 2012 legacy and we feel we have achieved something great in successfully gaining this funding; the process of getting funding is almost as competitive as the Paralympics themselves.

“Securing these resources will not only enable us to create new and better opportunities for accessible sports in Redditch, but by working together locally a range of activities can also be developed across the wider area.”

The North Worcestershire Consortium “Make it like Mandeville” bid secured £79,156, with Redditch receiving £23,775 of project funding in Redditch.
Projects outlined in the successful bid for Redditch include a fun multi-sports club at the Abbey Stadium dance project with Saltways care home for people with progressive conditions, a cycling club and special trikes for people with disabilities to be added to a cycle hire scheme, new archery and table tennis opportunities to be developed in partnership with local sports clubs and aqua fit sessions at the Abbey Stadium pool, leading into local swimming clubs via swimming ‘buddy’ sessions.