Support through Sport UK chatted to Sportability's Chief Executive - David Heard ...
Hi David. When was Sportability founded and what are its main aims?
Sportability is a registered British charity that was founded in 1989. The aim of the charity is to provide sport and challenging pursuits for people with paralysis.
Who can partake in Sportability's many activities?
Originally, Sportability was specifically for people with spinal cord injury - but we recognised that the benefits could be extended to a greater population. So, with the permission of the Charity Commission, we now offer our activities to people with spinal cord injury and other forms of paralysis.
Our current Sportability groups mostly comprise people with spinal cord injury, people who have had a stroke and people with MS.
Our groups are made up of adults ranging from 18 to 80, and most activities usually have a fairly even gender split.
Is it okay if people are complete beginners?
For some people, it's all about getting back to a sport that they thought they might never do again - but many others are complete beginners or 'never evers'. All are welcome!
Can you tell us about some of the really extreme activities that people have had a go at?
The range of activities includes:
- Shooting (clay pigeon, air pistol and rifle)
- BloKart sailing
- Sailing (lake and offshore)
- Flying gliders, microlights and powered aircraft
We also recently introduced indoor sky-diving.
Our participants have jumped out of aircraft to sky-dive, dived in the Red Sea as part of our scuba programme and flown light aircraft above the Surrey Downs and the Derbyshire Dales.
Sounds amazing! Looking forward, are there any other activities, or events, that Sportability is looking to offer / host?
Apart from increasing the range of activities around the UK, we're always looking for new, and different combinations, of sports. For example, we're currently planning a day-long quad-bike trek across the Brecon Beacons, followed by a second day canoeing down the Wye and a final day hand cycling through the Forest of Dean. So watch this space.
If anyone reading this is thinking that they'd like to experience the thrill and adrenaline of one of your activities, where do they sign up?
To join in with the activities in your local area, simply contact Sportability at email@example.com or give us a call on 020 9859 0089.