At an event hosted at Chiswick School today, Sainsbury’s, the first ever Paralympic Games-only sponsor announced its legacy plans.

The Sainsbury’s Active Kids For All scheme was launched by Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King and is a ground-breaking inclusive PE training programme for teachers.  It aims to ensure the inclusion of disabled children in PE and sport within mainstream schools by training PE teachers throughout the UK.

As well as inspiring the next generation, Justin King also announced that Sainsbury’s will be extending its sponsorship of the British Paralympic Association to help build on their success in 2012 and support them through the Sochi Winter Paralympic Games in 2014 and all the way to Rio in 2016.

In attendance at the event were quadruple Paralympic Gold Medallist Ellie Simmonds MBE, Chris Holmes MBE, London 2012 Director of Paralympics, Barry Horne, Chief Executive of English Federation of Disability Sport, Kevin O’Neill, Director of Disability Sport Northern Ireland, John Steele, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust and Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association.

The guests attended a school assembly where Ellie made a special appearance talking about her experiences at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and answered pupils’ questions.

After the assembly, guests joined pupils for an inclusive PE lesson, which showcased some of the activities that will be replicated throughout schools under the Sainsbury’s Active Kids For All scheme. Justin King said today that the aim of the programme is to support teachers within schools in developing the skills and confidence to teach and include disabled children in physical education and school sport, driving more active and healthier lifestyles amongst pupils across the UK.

The programme has been developed in partnership and will be delivered by Disability Sports Northern Ireland (DSNI), Disability Sport Wales (DSW), Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) and the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) alongside the Youth Sport Trust (YST) and supported by the British Paralympic Association (BPA).

In addition to the launch of Sainsbury’s Active Kids For All, Sainsbury’s also announced that as part of its on-going London 2012 Paralympic Games Legacy plans, it will be extending its partnership with the British Paralympic Association through to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Both of these investments, along with their long-term Sainsbury’s Active Kids Scheme and partnership with the Sainsbury’s School Games, further enhance the company’s significant and continued commitment to school and elite sports in the UK.

Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King, said: “We are aware that 80% per cent of all disabled children currently attend mainstream schools and we are aware that many may not be fully included in physical education classes.

“Whilst teaching and support staff undoubtedly have the skills, knowledge and competencies to deliver sport to disabled children and young people, not all have the confidence to fully include disabled children within their PE lessons.

“That is why we have worked with the Home Nations Disability Sport Organisations to develop Active Kids For All; it is a training package which is intended to support teachers and support staff working within the school environment to have confidence in the knowledge and skills they already have, and to add to that whilst developing their confidence to deliver to ALL children and young people within their classes.

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He continued: “I would like to thank the home nation disability sport organisations, The British Paralympic Association, and The Youth Sport Trust for their support in helping us establish this important initiative. It is also gives me a great deal of pleasure to be able to congratulate Ellie Simmonds on her extraordinary performance at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, she is an incredible athlete.”

“The Sainsbury’s School Games in 2012 was the largest and most inclusive multi sport event our nation’s young athletes have ever experienced. Around 1,700 elite school-aged sports stars, both non-disabled and disabled, competed in 12 Olympic and Paralympic sports in four key London 2012 Olympic venues. Today’s announcements will help bolster these Games for the future”.

Paralympic Gold Medallist Ellie Simmonds, said: “I have been part of Sainsbury’s involvement with sport and the Paralympics for the last two years, and I have benefited first-hand from their support. It is exciting to hear about their plans to deliver a true legacy.

“The Sainsbury’s Active Kids For All programme is a wonderful initiative; I know how important it is to ensure that all children get the opportunity to get involved in sport whatever their situation. Their inclusion at school is the first step on what can be an exciting journey for young people which could lead to a gold medal.”

Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport, said: “After this country’s greatest ever summer of sport we must now do all we can to inspire the next generation of future Olympians and Paralympians. Sainsbury’s Active Kids For All, along with the Sainsbury’s School Games, will help increase disability sport in schools and encourage all children to get involved.”

FemaleFirst @FemaleFirst_UK

Shabana Adam