Baroness Tanni Celebrates Parasport's 5th Birthday
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson supports Parasport, and wishes us many happy returns on our 5th birthday!
The site (www.parasport.org.uk) acts like the Yellow Pages for disability sport; helping people to discover what sports are suitable for them and signposting them to high quality disability sports clubs in their area. It has videos and information on each sport and case studies of people who have got involved with sport as a result, to show what can be achieved.
Since Deloitte Parasport was launched in 2007, nearly 2000 clubs have registered across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with the site receiving over 22 million hits. On average, almost 50% of all visits to the website result in use of the search function to find out more about local sporting opportunities. To date, 158 embeddable widgets, which allow external websites to use Parasport features such as the find a club facility on their own website, have been downloaded from Deloitte Parasport. These are currently being used by a range of National Governing Bodies, County Sports Partnerships, Local Authorities, Charities, Sports Agencies and LOCOG.
Heather Hancock, Managing Partner Talent and Brand at Deloitte said: “Five years ago, it was just so difficult to find out about opportunities to play sport if you, or someone you supported, had an impairment – or even what sport might suit you. Working together, Deloitte and the BPA have changed that. Deloitte Parasport has gone from concept to a successful website, used by thousands, and incredibly it has even been the starting point for athletes who just two or three years from logging on are hitting world class performances. This makes us tremendously proud.
“Our long term commitment to getting more people involved with disability sport is paying off for participants, high performers, the ParalympicsGB squad and for Deloitte. This year it becomes even more important. When the world’s best athletes gather in London, interest in disability sport will soar and Parasport will be ready to point people in the right direction, and even be the beginning of the journey for more future Paralympians”
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: “Deloitte Parasport continues to fill a gap within grass roots disability sport awareness and signposting and the BPA is extremely proud of this programme, which has achieved year on year growth. We know that the Paralympic Games and the performance of the ParalympicsGB team will inspire many people to take up sport. The London Games provides a fantastic opportunity to do this. It’s not just about finding future Paralympians, it’s about getting more disabled people involved in sport, at whatever level they are capable of. It is also representative of the success of our long-term partnership with Deloitte, which has been a committed partner and supporter of the BPA through the development of this programme alongside fundraising initiatives such as the hugely successful Deloitte Ride Across Britain. The strength of this relationship shows the sports industry the success a partnership of this type can have.”
Parasport has helped to develop the pathway that disabled people have, not only to start in sport but also potentially achieve success at the highest level. Athletes including Sam Scowan, currently training with the GB Rowing Team and Will Ramsey, training with the Wheelchair Basketball development squad, both found their sport through the site and both are now in contention to compete in future Paralympic Games.
During the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Deloitte Parasport will be the tool that the BPA will use to direct disabled people inspired by the Games to get started in sport. All of the Paralympic sports that will feature at London 2012 are registered on the site, alongside the winter sports that will be represented at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games