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St Mary’s Awarded Parasport Funding

St Mary's sports field
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St Mary’s University, Twickenham is delighted to announce that it has been awarded over £4,000 from The Toyota Parasport Fund.

The fund was first launched in 2019 by the British Paralympic Association in partnership with Toyota and Sport England; as part of the Toyota Parasport Campaign ‘Making Movement Better for Everyone’. The purpose of the fund is to continue to improve the quality and quantity of sport and activities available to disabled people.

Sport St Mary’s applied for the fund to support their project to combat inactivity within the student and local communities. The project has three aims: to diversify the recreational sport programme (SIMMSactive, including No Ordinary Society sport sessions) with an increased variety of sporting activities, to improve the accessibility of the children’s activity sessions (SIMMSport), and to provide the next generation of teachers and coaches with the tools to become more inclusive with their sporting provision delivery.

The project was launched in fulfilment of one of Sports St Mary’s aims to provide an inclusive sport and physical activity environment, supported by a study conducted by Student Services in 2019 that found 13% of students (657 individuals) are registered as having a disability whilst studying at St Mary’s.

At the beginning of the project, ten sport wheelchairs were purchased which enabled a wider scope of students to access the sports facilities and with the fund, the University has purchased a range of equipment including hearing loops, audible balls, New Age Kurling, Boccia ramps, wheelchair sport gloves, and wheelchair freewheels.

2019/20 Vice President of No Ordinary Society, Francesca Seychell said “Getting the sport wheelchairs really expanded what we were able to do with the No Ordinary Sport sessions and brought new people to the society. This new equipment will mean the sessions can cater to more students, especially with visual and hearing impairments, while also building on what has already been accomplished with the sport wheelchairs”.

The equipment will be in use from September 2021 and further information will be released about how students can get involved with the No Ordinary Society sport sessions – and other programmes – closer to the time.

Sport Development Manager of Sport St Mary’s, Gareth Crewe said “We are delighted to receive over £4,000 from Sport England to help improve the quality of our provision for inclusive sport & physical activity programmes. Providing a range of inclusive opportunities is an important part of our sport & physical activity pathway and this is a great opportunity to allow us to engage and support as many people as possible. I can’t wait to see the equipment being used by our students, staff and community members in the near future”.

Find out more about the fund on the Parasport and Sport England websites and to find out more about the sport sessions available, visit the University website.

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