A SALTAIRE-based care group has teamed up with an international organisation to offer its facilities to encourage disabled and able-bodied people to play sport together.
Czajka Care Group will offer free use of its bowling green and facilities at Fairmount Park Clubhouse in Nab Wood to people with, or without, disabilities.
The partnership is part of a £160,000 two-year programme that is being delivered by Bingley-based International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS) and funded by Sport England.
This is to encourage disabled and non-disabled people to play sport together and become members of teams and clubs.
Konrad Czajka, managing director of the Czajka Care Group, said: “Our family-run business places much emphasis on inclusion, as well as supporting the local community, so having sponsored The Bumbles, it seemed like the natural next step to get more involved with IMAS, which is such a forward-thinking organisation that is really breaking new ground in sport.
“Our bowling green, at the purpose-built Fairmount Park Clubhouse, supports the needs of our retirement community, but it is also open to the public and plays a vital role in the lives of its members.
“This partnership with IMAS will see adults of all ages join together to play as a team and we are confident that it will be just as successful as the rugby.”
IMAS received a £161,040 grant from the National Lottery in October this year to expand its services to more sports in the Mixed Ability Sport Development Programme.
The scheme follows the success of IMAS in rugby, its programme on mixed ability participation has been extended to include seven more sports including bowls, cricket, golf and tennis, in Bradford and other areas.
The new development programme will include more than 900 disabled and able-bodied people over the next two years.
It builds on the success of last year’s first international mixed ability rugby tournament, which saw teams from nine countries, including Bradford’s own Bumble Bees, take part in the competition held at Bradford and Bingley rugby union club.
Seven mixed ability clubs have been set up across the country following the event.
This is the latest tie-in with Czajka and disabled sports following its sponsorship of the Bumble Bees mixed ability rugby union team for the last three years.
The club, which was formed in 2009, became England’s first mixed ability rugby union team to include players with, and without, learning and physical disabilities.
Mark Goodwin, IMAS director, said: “We already had a fantastic relationship with Czajka Care Group through their involvement and sponsorship of The Bumble Bees Rugby Union Club.
“Their generous offer to make the bowling green available to our organisation will help to encourage people of all abilities to play sport together, something that is incredibly valuable, and the only way in which to promote inclusion in sport.”