As part of National Learning Disability week and at a special ‘Sport You Can’ event, members of the International Mixed Ability Sports team were invited to London to present their vision for a fairer, more inclusive society and how that can be achieved through sport.
The national conference brought together leading organisations from the sport, social care and health care sectors. This year National Learning Disability Week ran from the 17th – 23rd June with a focus on ‘sport and inclusion’.
As one of two organisations showcasing the inclusive nature of rugby as a starting point, IMAS went on to share the development and growth of Mixed Ability activities from boxing and cycling to rowing and swimming. Presenters and Mixed Ability participants Rupert Spode and Ahsan Sakandar were keen to impress that one of the key factors to the success and popularity of Mixed Ability sports is the inclusion of everyone in their local communities. Ahsan, player for the Bumble Bees Rugby Union team stated, ‘we all play together, people with disabilities and without disabilities, it doesn’t really matter, it’s for everybody’. He proudly went on to explain how his involvement in MA Rugby has ‘given me the chance to take an RFU coaching course’.
Following the event Harrow Mencap’s Nicole Lieberman wrote to the trainers, “I wanted to thank you once again for everything you have done to make #SportYouCan such a success. We would not have been able to make it without the help of each one of you. I look forward to future collaborations.”
Many thanks to Harrow Mencap for developing the #SportYouCan conference and collaborating with numerous likeminded organisations including IMAS, Community Integrated Care, A Level Playing Field, Sport England, and Portsmouth FC all working towards a more inclusive society.