GLL, the UK’s largest leisure charitable social enterprise which has pioneered new ways of delivering and investing in community sport, leisure and cultural services, is the first leisure operator to lead the InstructAbility scheme at a local level.
The project, delivered in partnership with YMCA Training and funded by Sport England, enables disabled people to become fitness professionals. The London-based course will start in June at Poplar Baths Leisure Centre, with qualified gym instructors taking up placements across various GLL leisure facilities to support inclusive community engagement.
Katie Ellis, National Community Engagement Manager at GLL says: “This seems like a natural development for GLL which has offered placements to InstructAbility students since the scheme’s inception in 2011. The partnership with Aspire and the opportunity to lead the InstructAbility Programme, links with GLL’s commitment to equality and diversity, and supports the aims of our new National Inclusion and Access Forum.”
Following hot on the heels of GLL, is the Leicester Centre for Integrated Living, with its InstructAbility Programme due to run at the Peepul Enterprise Centre, supported by ‘Choice International’.
Daniel Ball, Sports Broker Coordinator for LCiL, said: “We are really looking forward to starting the programme in July and urge disabled people to apply for a chance to be selected for this free scheme. This is a great opportunity for disabled people to gain professional training and qualifications, whilst also supporting others in the local community to get active. All the local leisure operators are on board and keen to offer placements to newly qualified instructors. Creating a local workforce that understands fitness and disability from a personal perspective will also complement our work with Disability Rights UK and the ‘Get Yourself Active’ project in Leicester.”
Hilary Farmiloe, who manages the national InstructAbility Programme at Aspire, is keen to see the programme embedded within organisations that understand their local communities. She says: “Organisations such as GLL and LCiL are best placed to lead the project for local people in their area and link it to other employment, physical activity and health initiatives for disabled people.”
Aspire is due to announce further courses run in partnership with local organisations in 2017 and is also encouraging parties such as leisure operators, health organisations and disability charities that would like to lead the programme in their area to get in touch. Disabled people who wish to apply for a course can get further details on the website www.instructability.org.uk