Of the 7,000 gyms in the UK only 67 are part of the Inclusive Fitness Initiative that supports leisure centres and gyms to become more welcoming and accessible environments to disabled people. Given this, how are we going to more people inspired and involved in Parasport?
Regardless of people’s individual sporting ambitions, the Government recommends that all people, including those with disabilities, do at least 150 minutes of activity a week, as well as strength exercises on 2 or more days a week.
The easiest way to increase your activity levels is to build activity into the things you do every day, like going to work, shopping and seeing friends.
Tips to build activity into your day:
- Walk or ride part of your journey to work or the shops
- Get off a bus or tube stop before your destination
- If you drive, park further away from your office and walk or ride the rest of the way
- Go for a walk or a ride with your friend rather than meeting for coffee
- Exercise before or after work, or during your lunch break
- Lots of gardening can provide a good workout
- Exercise in front of the TV
- Try an online video workout
- Some charities have their own workouts online, such as the MS Society.
What about those who want to get involved in sport and gym work? Well, all is not lost. CrystalEyes is working with gyms, fitness centres and health clubs to become more inclusive and there a lots of bespoke sports clubs keen for your involvement.
Disability sports listings
Most sports organisations actively encourage disabled people to get involved. The list of organisations below is by no means exhaustive.
The British Disabled Angling Association supports disabled people of all ages and abilities to get into fishing in the UK.
The British Wheelchair Archery Association supports archers with all impairments from grassroots to elite level with expert advice and coaching.
If you're looking to start in athletics, Parallel Success offers great opportunities for disabled athletes.
England Badminton Players Association for Disabled aims to get more disabled people into badminton at any standard or level.
Boccia England is responsible for all aspects of the sport, from beginner to expert, providing for all levels of participation.
Disability Bowls England aims to be the first port of call for anyone with a disability looking to get into bowls.
Organisations working to boost participation in cricket include the English Cricket Board, the Cricket Federation for People with Disabilities and the England Cricket Association for the Deaf.
Organisations helping disabled people get into cycling include Cycling UK, Hand Cycling Association UK and Companion Cycling.
If you enjoy dancing for fun or to stay active, find a disability dance class near you with Para Dance UK.
Find out where you can play disability football near you using the Football Association's Play Football section and the Disability football directory.
Look up clubs and find out more about getting into disabled fencing with British Disabled Fencing.
Visit Goalball UK to find out more about the sport and how to get involved.
Golf organisations supporting and promoting disability golf are listed on England Golf's disability section.
Find an accessible gymnastics club near you using the British Gymnastics website.
Find a riding group near you using the Riding for the Disabled Association website.
Find training opportunities near you from The Disability Karate Foundation website.
Find out how to get into adaptive rowing at British Rowing.
Find an accessible sailing venue near you on the Royal Yachting Association website.
Look up accessible shooting clubs on the Disabled Shooting Project website.
Find out how to get into sledge hockey with the British Sledge Hockey Association.
Find a local ski group, book lessons and find skiing activities near you at Disability Snowsports UK.
Strength and flex
Improve your strength and flexibility with this 5-week exercise plan. Not adapted for wheelchair users.
Find a swimming pool near you with disability access and local disability swimming clubs at swimming.org.
Table Tennis England works to increase the number of disabled people who take part in table tennis.
Find out about how to take part in tennis if you have a disability with the Tennis Foundation.
Find a sitting volleyball centre near you using the Volleyball England website.
Several websites provide information about local walking groups for the disabled, such as Disabled Ramblers and Walking for health.
Find a club near you and all you need to know about wheelchair basketball with British Wheelchair Basketball.
If you want to give wheelchair rugby a try, find your local wheelchair rugby club on the GB Wheelchair Rugby website.
Back Up – supporting people with spinal cord injury
British Amputee & Les Autres Sports Association
British Blind Sport
Cerebral Palsy Sport
Dwarf Sports Association UK
LimbPower – supporting amputees and people with limb impairments to reach their sporting potential
Mencap Sport – supporting people with a learning difficulty
Metro Blind Sport
Special Olympics GB – supporting people with learning disabilities
UK Deaf Sport
UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability
WheelPower – supporting wheelchair sport
Disability Sports Wales
Scottish Disability Sport
Disability Sports NI