Inclusive Sports Event a Success
Author: Disability Sports
Synopsis and Key Points:
Initiative designed to make sport accessible to any-body no matter what their ability or past experience.
Main DigestAn initiative designed to make sport accessible to any-body no matter what their ability or past experience has been hailed a success, following three days of sport at The University of Nottingham this March.
Any-Body Month ( ABM ), organized by the University and Students' Union, provided more than 170 students and local residents with the opportunity to try free taster sessions in a diverse range of sports; Judo, Pilates, Wheelchair Rugby, Powerchair Football, Aqua Fit, Tennis, Badminton, Horse Riding and Tai Chi.
Taking place at the Jubilee, Sutton Bonington and University Park campuses, the events demonstrated how sport can be inclusive, raised awareness of the barriers faced by those with a disability, and allowed people to take part in sports they wouldn't normally have accessed.
The philosophy behind ABM is even more significant in the light of next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games and organizers were delighted to receive the Inspire 2012 mark, which recognizes innovative and exceptional projects directly inspired by the values of the Games.
To ensure an authentic experience for those taking part, the University collaborated with a number of external groups and national governing bodies, including the Wheelchair Football Association, Cerebral Palsy Sport, British Judo and the Riding for the Disabled Association, drawing upon their expertise to deliver the sessions.
Sporting talents were also on hand to share their knowledge including 'Big Nev' from the East Midlands Marauders Wheelchair Rugby Team, two coaches courtesy of the British Judo Association and one of the leading figures behind the conception of Powerchair Football, Ricky Stevenson.
Tim Reddish OBE, Chairman of the British Paralympic Association, also attended the celebration event on Saturday March 26, to present certificates to participants and the volunteers who had given their time to make sure that students and local residents had a great experience.
Hannah Webber, Disability Sport Officer for The University of Nottingham, is delighted with how well Any-Body Month has been received and revealed that BUCS ( British Universities and Colleges Sport ) are now considering if they are able to roll out the event nationally.
She said: "As well as increasing the number of people engaging with ABM this year, we also attracted a significant number of student volunteers eager to help their peers enjoy the activities on offer.
"ABM has come on leaps and bounds since last year's inaugural event, and with the backing of the Inspire 2012 mark we're looking forward to developing Any-Body Month for the future, enabling even more people, whatever their abilities, to experience sport at The University of Nottingham."
Feedback received also suggests that the event is going from strength to strength, with comments including: "Any-Body Month has shown me that people don't need to let their disabilities hold them back" and "Any-Body Month has opened my eyes to different sports that I'd never tried before. They were really well run and good fun."
With 75 Athletic Union sports clubs, Nottingham teams have consistently finished in the top 10 out of over 140 institutions competing in the British Universities and Colleges Sport ( BUCS ) overall league championship table over the last 15 years.
The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as 'the embodiment of the modern international university', has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong ( SJTU ) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named 'Europe's greenest university' in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world's most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.
The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.
The University's vision is to be recognized around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.
Sources of funding: Any-Body Month was free for anybody to attend, thanks to funding from the University of Nottingham's Annual Fund, County Sports Partnership and the Student's Union Disabled Students Network.
University of Nottingham Annual Fund: Using donations received principally from University of Nottingham alumni, the Annual Fund Grants Awards support projects which directly enhance the student experience, or which add to the University's student outreach or community activities.
Previous awards have helped to fund over 100 projects including the Sixty Symbols video series and Architecture students designing and building a pre-school nursery in South Africa.
Applications for support are approved by a panel of alumni donors, with project grants of up to £25,000 available. For further information about the Annual Fund Grants Award please visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/supportus/annualfund or contact Linda Ward in the Development Office on 0115 846 7213
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