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Bristol’s Inclusive Sports Day

By meena alexander, Monday Aug 3, 2015

On Wednesday, Bristol disability charity WECIL (West of England Centre for Inclusive Living) will bring together local sports groups, coaches, and four-time Paralympic shooter Karen Butler to give disabled people the chance to try out an exciting range of accessible sports. 

The event, held in partnership with the University of Bristol, is part of the charity’s five year Peer Support service, funded by the Big Lottery Fund. It will take place at Bristol University’s superb sports facility Coombe Dingle, and see inclusive sports groups from all over Bristol running sessions ranging from wheelchair basketball to archery. 

Karen Butler, currently in training for Rio 2016, will also be talking about her sport and sharing her experiences as a Paralympic athlete.

The idea for an inclusive sports day came from WECIL volunteer Tony Amor, who highlights the importance of holding such an event: “Through WECIL’s Peer Support sessions I got to try out some accessible sports myself, including archery, which really developed my interest in sports coaching.

“I’m an amputee and as a disabled person it’s difficult to find sports groups that are accessible for everyone. That’s why this event is so important – it’s a unique opportunity for disabled people in Bristol to try out a number of sports and meet the local clubs and groups nearby. I hope it inspires others to get involved.”

Paralympian Karen Butler also had a lot of praise for the project: “When I was growing up there was nothing like this – no inclusive days or sports for disabled people. I only happened to try shooting to gain the Duke of Edinburgh award; otherwise I doubt it would have ever crossed my mind! Things are a lot better now, but it’s still difficult to gain access to some sports centres. That’s why events like this are so important – they give disabled people the opportunity to have a go and try things that they might not otherwise have known about.”

The event is set to take place from 11am-4pm on Wednesday, August 5, and disabled people, family and friends are all encouraged to come and enjoy talks, refreshment and a range of accessible sporting activities.

For more information, visit www.wecil.co.uk/events.

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