The most important part of Disability Sport NI’s work is the development of regular participation opportunities for people with disabilities, ideally in their local area. We currently do this in the following ways:
Community events programme: Disability Sport NI runs a series of community events each year where people with disabilities can take part in fun but competitive sporting events in a range of sports including Boccia, New Age Kurling, Athletics and Aerobics.
Inclusive leisure project: This Sport NI Lottery funded project, is a partnership between Disability Sport NI and Fermanagh District Council concerned with the development of local participation opportunities for people with disabilities in the council area.
Active communities programme: This Sport NI funded, District Council managed programme has from April 2010 seen a network of Disability Sport NI Inclusive Community Coaches deployed in five different areas of Northern Ireland developing grassroots sports opportunities for people with disabilities and their non-disabled peers.
Supporting local groups and programmes: Disability Sport NI also supports a number of Sport NI funded community sports projects throughout Northern Ireland. We provide support, advice and training to these groups on how to successfully include people with disabilities in their programmes.
Disability Sport NI also works closely with Sport Northern Ireland and key Governing Bodies of Sport to ensure that our most talented disabled sports people have the same opportunity as non-disabled sports people to train, compete and excel in their chosen sport.
Disability Sport NI also represents Northern Ireland on key UK performance sports organisations, including the British Paralympic Association. We also maintain close links with key Irish disability sports organisations.
Disability Sport NI also provides a sport facility access audit & advice service, designed to encourage and support the development of sports facilities which are fully inclusive of people with disabilities. We also work closely with Sport Northern Ireland to ensure that all Sport NI funded sports facilities meet optimum levels of good practice, in relation to inclusive use by people with disabilities.
Disability Sport NI also runs a variety of training and sports leadership courses, all designed to provide coaches, sports leaders, club administrators, leisure services staff and teachers with the knowledge and practical skills they require to successfully include people with disabilities in sports and recreation programmes. Disability Sport NI currently runs courses which involve over 500 participants annually.