Sport Birmingham has confirmed the Birmingham Inclusive Sports Festival will go ahead in 2020, offering children with disabilities the chance to take part in sport. The event will enter its eighth year, thanks to a partnership with the CareTech Foundation. The Foundation donated £2,500 to the event this year and has been confirmed as a partner for the 2020 event.
The Birmingham Inclusive Sports Festival offers free fun and family-friendly sports taster days for individuals with a range of impairments. The festival started with 137 participants in 2013, and has grown ever since, with over 500 participants taking part last year.
At the 2019 festival, 84% of those who took part said it had given them the chance to try a new sport for the first time. Aston Villa Football Club were just one of the 25 different providers who offered sports activities at the festival. These included archery, inclusive tennis, wheelchair basketball and table cricket. The event highlighted the importance of inclusivity in sports, and was a huge hit amongst those who came.
And it is not just those with disabilities who benefit. Parents and carers agreed that the Sports Festival helped to get those they care for to try new things with everyone saying more schools and community groups should take part.
One parent commented:
“My son has an LTC (juvenile arthritis) and it was a lovely opportunity to show him you can do anything you want to. He specifically said he thought it was lovely that there were people with all different kinds of disabilities there.”
Jonathan Freeman, Chief Executive of the CareTech Foundation, commented:
“The Inclusive Sports Festival not only gives people with disabilities the chance to try something new, but also helps change preconceptions about what they think that disabled people can do. We were delighted to be able to contribute to the event this year and we are so excited to reaffirm our support for the fantastic work of Sport Birmingham and the inspirational effect they have for the disabled community.”
A Sport Birmingham spokesperson commented:
“The Inclusive Sports Festival is a real highlight of our year at Sport Birmingham, and it is such a boost to know that our partners continue to see the good that the event can do. We are thrilled to have the CareTech Foundation as a partner for 2020 and with their hope and generosity we want to see the event go from strength to strength next year.”