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January 18, 2016
The BDA are today celebrating the news that since April 2013, over 1,500 new disabled bowlers aged 16 and over have taken up the sport via BDA funded events and are now playing regularly either within clubs or at stand-alone projects.
Between April 2013 and April 2014, 187 disabled people were recruited into the sport but following on from the inaugural National Disability Survey and the recommendations which have since been implemented, recruitment rates saw a huge rise as 1,005 disabled people joined clubs and took part in projects throughout the subsequent year ending April 2015. Encouragingly, this trend shows no signs of abating with over 400 new disabled bowlers coming into the sport via BDA funded events in the last six months.
One of the main drivers of this improvement in disabled participation rates has been the creation and implementation of the National Disability Strategic Action Plan which is overseen by the Disability Steering Group, chaired by Disability Bowls England chairman, Paul Brown. Speaking about the latest participation milestone, Paul stated:
“It’s absolutely fantastic to see so many new disabled people taking up our sport. It is testament to the work across the whole sport and the significant strides we have made in the past 18 months, making concerted efforts to work together with all the major bodies of bowls as well as outside disability sport organisations to improve the opportunities for disabled people to take part. I look forward to seeing further success as we continue to make the sport more inclusive and accessible”.
To view the National Disability Survey 2014 and 2015 or National Disability Strategic Action Plan, please visit http://playbowls.org/disabilitybowls/overview