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Ipswich to create more things to do for disabled people

PUBLISHED: 13:55 03 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 03 August 2019

Children with cerebral palsy enjoyed a range of sports activities at a sports camp at Gainsborough Sports Centre  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Children with cerebral palsy enjoyed a range of sports activities at a sports camp at Gainsborough Sports Centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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More things to do for disabled people are set to be organised in a bid to boost health and fitness levels.

Children with cerebral palsy enjoyed a range of sports activities at a sports camp at Gainsborough Sports Centre  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChildren with cerebral palsy enjoyed a range of sports activities at a sports camp at Gainsborough Sports Centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) has found that people with disabilities participate far less in sporting activities than able-bodied people.

While disabled people's conditions might limit them from doing certain things, many mainstream sporting activities are not suitable for those with disabilities.

So the council worked with the charity Cerebral Palsy Sport to hold a multi-activity "SportStart" day at Gainsborough Sport and Community Centre, where people could try out a variety of different games such as football, boccia, table tennis and circuit training.

The event at the centre in Brazier's Wood Road was said to be one of the most popular that Cerebral Palsy Sport has organised across the country and was also visited by Mike Diaper, executive director of children and young people at Sport England.

Children with cerebral palsy enjoyed a range of sports activities at a sports camp at Gainsborough Sports Centre  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChildren with cerebral palsy enjoyed a range of sports activities at a sports camp at Gainsborough Sports Centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The charity has trained 25 instructors in Ipswich to run activity sessions which are suitable for disabled people.

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And as well as looking to run a similar sports day in the near future, the council also hopes interest garnered from Friday, August 2's event will help them to put on more regular activities across the town.

Andrew Wilesmith, operations manager for sport and leisure at IBC, said: "One of the main motivations is that the number people with disabilities participating in sport are far less than those in the mainstream.

Children with cerebral palsy enjoyed a range of sports activities at a sports camp at Gainsborough Sports Centre  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChildren with cerebral palsy enjoyed a range of sports activities at a sports camp at Gainsborough Sports Centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"We want to help people with disabilities to be more active.

"It's not just about being healthy and more active, it's also about the social side - improving mental health and reducing isolation by being able to engage with other people.

"We're trying to make Ipswich a more active county for people with disabilities.

"We're looking at running this again and, building on from that, get some regular activities going."

Children with cerebral palsy enjoyed a range of sports activities at a sports camp at Gainsborough Sports Centre  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChildren with cerebral palsy enjoyed a range of sports activities at a sports camp at Gainsborough Sports Centre Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mr Wilesmith added that the council is keen to work with other voluntary organisations in the town to make that happen.

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