SportsAble is so much more than just a sports club. Our purpose-built clubhouse is a safe place where disabled people can meet, socialise, support each other, have fun, meet friends, and join in a variety activities, including playing sport to whatever standard they want to.
With the coronavirus impact on operations, the reduction in the availability of local sources of support due to others’ financial constraints and other grant and donor income challenges, SportsAble’s finances have reached crisis point. The situation is critical, and if we cannot raise sufficient new funding this vital charity may have to close this spring.
What we do
We have 300 members who use our club regularly with some travelling more 10-15 miles to participate because there is no provision like it in their local area. Some of our members come for fun and laughter, others have discovered a talent for sport and represented Team GB in the Paralympics. Before Lockdown, we offered members more than 14 different sports and activities including Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Dance, Air Weapons, Archery and many more.
In our nearly 46 years we have sent Paralympians from our ranks to every Paralympics bar one and count Paralympic gold medallists, world champions and national champions amongst our number. But more importantly we provide sporting opportunity for all, and of any ability whether for fun or embarking on a Paralympic pathway. We can’t let SportsAble fail in a Paralympic year.
Being part of a Club like SportsAble is a lifeline to people living with disability, their families, and their friends too. Indeed, many of our members have credited the charity with saving their lives.
Many of our members were on a very different journey before they came to us. Some were isolated, many overweight, nearly all were depressed - and they lead their lives without a clear purpose and focus.
After joining SportsAble, they made friends, felt more positive and rediscovered themselves, learning new skills and starting a new pathway towards fitness and weight loss. For those who discovered a passion for competitions, many have progressed to national and international events, winning many medals and trophies.
More Than Just a Sports Club
The adversity of the Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone in the UK. But even when the Pandemic has gone and life resumes, people living with disability will still be faced with the daily challenge of overcoming the adversity of everyday life.
Research shows that 53% of disabled people believe their disability makes it harder to make friends. (Scope). During Lockdown, 58% of our members did not socialise with anyone outside of their family; 96% of our members want to return to SportsAble after the pandemic and 68% see SportsAble as a way of meeting new friends. During Lockdown, 28% of our members were unable to do any moderate exercise at all and 95% say that SportsAble helps them get active despite having a long term health condition. (2020 member survey)
The Fundraising Target
Members pay £75 a year for an Annual Membership and this gives them access to all our sports and other events. Keeping the cost is critical for our members, many of whom have lost a considerable amount of income due to disability. For some, £75 is still too much to pay when they are struggling to survive on benefits. The real cost of one membership to SportsAble is £800.
We need to raise £46,000 in the spring of our 46th year to plug the funding gap, and need your support to raise a minimum of £20,000 of that through Crowdfunder.
Last year we were supposed to celebrate our 45th Anniversary, but unfortunately the Club found itself closed for the first time in its history. If SportsAble can raise enough money to keep it open until this year's Tokyo Paralympics in August, we will be winning the battle to stay open, but we need to raise £46,000 to do so.
With this amount of money, the charity can keep the doors of its clubhouse open and continue to provide an essential service to disabled people, transforming many lives in the process.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.