Praise for Any-Body initiative


March 8th, 2011

A University initiative has received a national award for its commitment to Olympic and Paralympic values.

One of only a handful of projects in the East Midlands to receive the Inspire 2012 Mark, Any-Body Month– which runs throughout March – encourages people of all abilities to enjoy sport, while promoting the core Olympic and Paralympic values: excellence, respect, friendship, courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, said: “Any-Body Month is encouraging students, community members and those with a disability to fulfil their potential. I am proud that partners such as The University of Nottingham are delivering on our vision to use the power of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to boost participation in sport no matter what a person’s abilities.”

Last year’s Any-Body Month – the first – attracted more than 100 people and received the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Diversity in Sport Award.

This year’s event has signed up coaches from national governing bodies and regional sports groups to work with the University to deliver coaching and work to make the University’s clubs more inclusive.

Sports on offer include horse riding, wheelchair rugby and Tai Chi (Sutton Bonington, 12 March), Powerchair football, judo and pilates (Jubilee, 19 March), and tennis, badminton and aqua fit (University Park, 26 March).

Other universities and community representatives are also invited along to see how they could initiate similar events. If successful, BUCS plans to roll out the initiative with higher education providers nationwide.

Hannah Webber, Sports Disability Officer, said: “This event aims to fill that gap by educating the University sports clubs on how to make their offering more inclusive; through the delivery of bespoke sessions that are tailored to address some of the barriers to participation; and by clear pathways and exit routes into continued activity beyond the Any-Body Month event.

“The event is designed to provide all students with a number of positive experiences, which will give them a more complete experience of University life. They will also benefit through volunteering opportunities and gain a greater understanding of the barriers faced by disabled people playing sport.”

Athletic Union Officer Dave Heads said: “The Students’ Union is committed to providing opportunities for all students, whatever their interests or abilities, to get involved in University life and to demonstrate their skills and potential. Any-Body Month is a brilliant event, as it gives everyone the chance to access sporting activities in a supportive environment where the aim is simply to have fun and try something new.”

Any-Body events are free, thanks to funding from the University’s Annual Fund, Sport Nottinghamshire and the Student’s Union Disability Students Network. Visit: www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport/anybodymonth.php.

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