Cerebral Palsy Sport is the country’s leading national disability sports charity supporting people with cerebral palsy to reach their potential through sport, putting people with cerebral palsy and their families at the heart of everything they do. Cerebral palsy affects 1 in 400 people in the UK.
Cerebral Palsy Sport provides sports opportunities for children, young people and adults with cerebral palsy and related neurological conditions. Hundreds of participants take part in their events across the country yearly, which are supported by volunteers. They have membership packages that include discount for the charity’s sporting events.
In 2015, the charity hosted the Nottingham 2015 CPISRA World Games welcoming 13 nations to a memorable multi-sport event in the City of Nottingham.
Cerebral Palsy Sport’s Programmes
The athletics programme ranges from AthleticStart days (local introductory athletics sessions) through to the Athletics Series (regional competitions to develop athlete skills) and annual National Championships. Events include a variety of track and field disciplines. They also offer RaceRunning opportunities, a new adapted sport using a three wheeled frame for those who cannot functionally run and rely on sports aids for mobility and balance.
The Charity has developed excellent partnerships in several regions across England and Wales. It offers KickStart days (local introductory football sessions), Kick-Off events (fun regional competition events to develop player skills), and the adapted sport of Frame Football (adapted activities for individuals who use a frame or crutches).
Cerebral Palsy Sport’s Swim Series includes Development Galas (Fun regional competition events to develop swimmers skills) through to annual National Championships. The charity works closely with Swim England and other delivery agencies to ensure good quality provision exists locally for everyone to enjoy.
Table Cricket is a game for everyone to play and enjoy and it is a great way to teach the basics of cricket on a table top. Cerebral Palsy Sport supports the development of the National Table Cricket Community League. Events include four national performance group events for players and coaches each year.
Cerebral Palsy Sport’s SportStart days take place all over the country. The charity works with local sports clubs to deliver a range of fun activities for children and young people and support them to take their first steps into sport. This includes an adapted sports programme. These sports have been developed to ‘fill the gap’ where current sport provision does not meet the need of all people with cerebral palsy or physical disabilities, and include Table Cricket, Frame Football and RaceRunning.
The charity is engaging with a number of sporting and non-sporting organisations including Sport England, EFDS, NGBs, CSPs, Third sector organisations, NDSOs local sports clubs to enables it to develop and expand opportunities.
Training and development
Cerebral Palsy Sport works with and advise organisations, healthcare professionals, schools and individuals on how they can deliver more appealing and suitable activities for people with cerebral palsy and associated physical impairments. It offers cerebral palsy and sport awareness training, adapted sports leader training, sport specific coaching workshops, insight and educational resources. The charity has created resources for adapted sports programmes.
Cerebral Palsy Sport is delighted to have been able to introduce sport and provide opportunities to so many people, benefitting from the many social, physical and psychological aspects it can provide. Some individuals have even gone on to compete at the Paralympic Games including swimmer Sascha Kindred CBE and athlete Steven Miller MBE.
Ellie Simpson, Cerebral Palsy Sport Young Sporting Ambassador
I am 22 years old and currently completing a Sports Development with Coaching degree at Sheffield Hallam University. I have Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, which affects all four of my limbs and makes my movements appear shaky and jerky.
In 2012 I watched the London Paralympics on TV. Before then, I did not associate people like myself with sport at all. When I heard that the Paralympics GB Sport Fest was coming to Sheffield I went along and that day changed my life. I fell in love with athletics and joined City of Sheffield AC. I started training and competing in the Club Throw, which I loved, but I really wanted to be on the track. Neither Wheelchair Racing or ambulant running suited me so when I saw this ‘thing’ hurtling down the track at a CP Sport competition, with my now best friend Matt on it, I knew I wanted to do it. It was RaceRunning. I signed up to the next Cerebral Palsy Sport RaceRunning Taster Day and had a go. I was hooked! I competed at the 2015 CP World Games winning 2 gold medals and represented England at the 2016 European Championships in Denmark.
Sport has had a major positive impact on my life. Physically I now find that things in my everyday life are a little easier, e.g. negotiating steps, and my overall coordination has improved. Socially I have made the best friends through sport. Academically, sport has opened doors to brand new opportunities. It would have never crossed my mind a few years ago to take a Sports degree!
In the long term, my dream is for RaceRunning to become IPC approved and to reach the Paralympics. I am confident that it’ll happen one day!
Ben Meadows, Cerebral Palsy Sport Young Sporting Ambassador
I am 16 years old. I was born with Hemiplegia which affects my right side. Since an early age I have had continual physiotherapy which has helped me understand that exercising and keeping strong is an essential part of my life. I have also been lucky to try many sports at school including Boccia, wheelchair basketball and table cricket, but my main passion is football.
In 2007 I underwent surgery on my right leg/foot which changed my life I was able to run and move a lot easier. I joined LFC Ability Counts football and also played for Liverpool County FA pan disability development programme. At the age of 11 I was picked to play for the North West Regional Talent Centre. I went on to join the North West RTC and CP United FC and found my position as a goalkeeper. The coaches I work with are amazing, motivating me consistently and believe in my abilities. I have also been selected to be in the CP England development squad.
I have completed the FA Junior Football Leaders Award, and have my FA Level 1 in coaching football, as well as passing my Referee course. I regularly work with younger children at CP United FC as a coaching assistant. I have also enjoyed helping out at some Cerebral Palsy Sport football events too.
Sport has helped me overcome difficulties with my disability, given me confidence, helped my physical development and movement, and I’ve made lifelong friends. My personal ambition is to keep developing as a player and as a person and hopefully play for England and GB in the future.