Belfast Telegraph

Progressive and Disability Sport NI combine for three-year partnership

Pictured at the launch of Disability Sport NI and Progressive Building Society's new partnership are (back row, from left) Kevin O'Neill, chief executive officer Disability Sport NI; Kelly Gallagher MBE; Darina Armstrong, Progressive chief executive; and Northern Ireland wheelchair basketball player Ross Davidson; (front row, from left) Aubrey Bingham, Community Sport Manager; and William Graham, NI Boccia player (Darren Kidd/PressEye)
Pictured at the launch of Disability Sport NI and Progressive Building Society's new partnership are (back row, from left) Kevin O'Neill, chief executive officer Disability Sport NI; Kelly Gallagher MBE; Darina Armstrong, Progressive chief executive; and Northern Ireland wheelchair basketball player Ross Davidson; (front row, from left) Aubrey Bingham, Community Sport Manager; and William Graham, NI Boccia player (Darren Kidd/PressEye)
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Disability Sport NI and Progressive Building Society have announced a new three-year partnership to support the development of disability sport in Northern Ireland.

The deal will see over 11,000 participation opportunities created for people with disabilities and the development of Disability Sports Hubs, which will greatly enhance the access to disabled sport across the country.

Not only that, but the new deal means that every council area in Northern Ireland, eleven in total, will have a part-time activity leader based in them, which will allow dedicated work to be carried out towards growing disability sport.

This partnership comes on the back of the Active Living: No Limits 2021 Action Plan, which was outlined by Disability Sport NI in October 2016.

Already over £1m of disability sports equipment has been secured by Disability Sport NI and funded by the Department for Communities through Sport NI.

Now, this additional funding from Progressive will allow further development of disability sport, with the steady growth it has seen recently set to receive a major boost.

The creation and development of these Disability Sports Hubs will not only create more opportunities for people to get involved, but they will also improve the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities, both physically and mentally.

"Progressive has been operating for over 100 years with 12 branches across Northern Ireland and we are committed to making a valuable contribution to local people and communities," commented Darina Armstrong, chief executive of Progressive Building Society.

"That is why we are so passionate about supporting the significant impact that Disability Sport NI is having on the health and wellbeing of those living with a disability across Northern Ireland.

"Our staff are looking forward to supporting Disability Sport NI in their vision for an inclusive society and we are very excited for this partnership which is set to take disability sports to a new level."

Kevin O'Neill, chief executive officer of Disability Sport NI, added: "The project realises the beginning of our long-term vision to bring disability sports clubs and programmes to people with a disability in every area of Northern Ireland.

"We are totally committed to building a more inclusive society where people with disabilities have the same opportunity as non-disabled people to lead a full, active and healthy lifestyle through sport and active recreation.

"We are delighted with the support of Progressive which will help us improve the lives of thousands of disabled people across Northern Ireland through sport and active recreation.

"Progressive is a great partner for our charity and we look forward to fully embracing a strong working relationship with them."

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