Eastbourne project to make sport inclusive for people with disabilities receives £ 70,000 grant

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A COMMUNITY project to help people with physical and learning disabilities to participate in sport has received more than £ 70,000 from the National Lottery.

Defiant Sports in Eastbourne hosts inclusive sports sessions including boccia, visually impaired tennis and table cricket in an accessible environment.

Executive Director Loretta Lock said funding from the National Lottery Community Fund would allow it to add more sessions and purchase new equipment as it seeks to reduce barriers to playing the sport.

She said: “With this support, we hope to grow and deliver inclusive sports for all to a wider audience, ensuring that anyone with a barrier to participation can experience the benefits of an active lifestyle.”

The project began in frustration after Ms Lock struggled to find a place in the sport where her son Callum, with cerebral palsy and autism, could thrive.

He often found himself at a disadvantage when playing tennis against non-disabled players.

The only advice given was to play in a wheelchair which was not suitable for his needs.

After finding tennis for the visually impaired, she created Defiant Sports to help Callum and others like him have the right environment in which to play sports together.

Callum excelled in the environment, his self-esteem soared and within six months he became a national champion.

The National Lottery Community Fund, the UK’s largest funder of community activity, has already awarded a share of £ 5million this year to more than 100 community groups and charities across the East Sussex, to provide support to areas affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund has awarded grants to a range of projects in the county, including groups supporting people with mental health issues, social exclusion among BAME communities and groups helping children and youth with impact lock.

Money raised by national lottery players for good causes is distributed from the fund; Last year over £ 500million in life-changing funds was awarded to communities across the UK.

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