Boost for disability sport at Bedford Rowing Club

Posted In : Adaptive Rowing
Disability sport in Bedford is set to receive a welcome boost after Bedford Rowing Club has received a £9,300 award from Sport England to purchase new equipment. The money will be used to purchase four new stable rowing boats, which will open up opportunities for disabled people in Bedford to try rowing for the first time.
Bedford Rowing Club are very pleased to be able to buy this equipment which will allow their Rowability projects to get even more children and young adults on the water during the summer term. The Club has been working with the Grange Academy and Bedford College building up the young adults’ confidence with a ‘DRY START’ programme on their indoor rowing machines before getting them on the water.
Lisa O’Keefe, Sport England’s Director of Insight, says: ‘We know that many organisations and clubs delivering sport struggle to provide sporting opportunities for disabled people because of a lack of access to specialist equipment. We are delighted to award these vital funds to Bedford Rowing Club which will play a transformative role in opening up sport to many people who previously found it inaccessible.’
The award is part of Sport England’s ‘Get Equipped’ fund, which was designed to build on the success of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. £1 million of National Lottery funding is being distributed to organisations across England to allow them to provide specialist equipment which will help make sport a practical choice for many more disabled people inspired by the Games.
The number of disabled people playing sport regularly is on the rise. In December, Sport England’s Active People Survey - an annual, indepth measure of the nation’s sporting habits – revealed that a record number of disabled people in England now play sport each week.
The number of disabled people aged 16 and over playing sport once a week has increased by 62,000 over the last year, bringing the total number to its highest recorded figure of 1.67 million, 351,000 more than in 2005 when London won the bid to host the Games. However, non-disabled people are still twice as likely to play sport as disabled people (39.2 per cent compared to 18.5 per cent) which is why Sport England continues to focus attention and investment to address this imbalance.
Creating a sporting habit for life
John Layng, Bedford Rowing Club’s Secretary, stated that “It is a very exciting and busy time for Bedford Rowing Club; we are working hard to make sure that everyone in Bedford is given the opportunity to access rowing, as we believe it is a great sport for life. The work that Lynda Higgins has done with the Grange and Bedford College has been very rewarding for the carers, Lynda as well as the students and we want this project to continue to 2016 and beyond. Bedford Rowing Club also have access to 4 portable rowing machines that they are able to take into Special Schools to implement the ‘Dry Start’ rowing programme with the overall aim that students will take to the river in the summer term”
Bedford Rowing Club now has groups from schools such as Bedford Free School, Biddenham, Sharnbrook, St Andrews and Grange as well as other organisations including the Girls Sportivate project, Bedford College, University of Bedfordshire, on the water 7 days a week making full use of the facilities that the Club has on offer.
Bedford Rowing Club run Explore Rowing Courses throughout the year as they are so popular with people of all ages and abilities. Each course lasts for 8 weeks and anyone interested in having a go at rowing is invited to a free taster session first. The next free taster is on April 5th at 1pm at Bedford Rowing Club. The next Explore Rowing course will start on Saturday 19th April at 11am and there is also a Monday evening course starting on the 28th April at 6.30pm.
For further information, please contact: Lynda Higgins, Projects Officer at Bedford Rowing club. via or
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Posted By Lydia on 21 Mar 2014

Tags : Adaptive Rowing

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