England Netball and East Midlands Netball have been breaking down barriers to make sports participation easier for people with learning disabilities over the weekend.
‘Breaking the Barriers Disability Awareness Event’ was attended by almost 20 netball coaches, umpires and volunteers interested in helping people with learning disabilities, allowing them to gain experience and confidence when working in the sport.
Loughborough Lightning players Olivia Murphy and Natasha Hampshire took time out of training for the Co-operative Netball Superleague to participate in the day’s activities, supporting 13 participants with learning disabilities to improve their netball skills.
According to a recent Active People Survey, netball in this country has approximately 4,900 participants with a limiting disability or illness. This is three percent of the total of netball participants.
Jenny Hotchkiss, Regional Services Manager, at England Netball said: “Netball has a lot to offer a whole range of different participants and it is so important that events like this take place to encourage more people with learning disabilities to take part. I hope that this event has given attendees the knowledge and confidence needed to make existing clubs more accessible and to encourage new community activity in the East Midlands region.”
photos Janos Schmidt