In January, Bradford Girls’ Grammar School became the first school in the country to deliver British Wheelchair Basketball’s ground-breaking Inspire a Generation programme.
Launched in 2020 by British Wheelchair Basketball thanks to £1.5m of funding from Sport England and The National Lottery, the programme began last year and so far 165 newly trained Activators are delivering sessions across the country, with more than 700 participants being introduced to the sport for the first time.
Whilst wheelchair basketball is a fully inclusive sport, the initiative is vital in helping support disabled participants find or return to physical activity, many of whom were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To celebrate the milestone, GB player and Paralympian Siobhan Fitzpatrick joined students at Bradford Girls’ Grammar School to take part in a session and speak to students, parents and teachers.
Justine Baynes, Chief Executive at British Wheelchair Basketball said:
“I’m thrilled to see the Inspire a Generation programme being rolled out in schools, allowing even more communities, particularly young people, across the country to get involved in the sport. The programme gives us a fantastic opportunity to grow participation.
“I hope Bradford Girls’ Grammar School is the first school of many and we see many more taking an interest in the programme and our sport.“
Benjamin Wood, Assistant Headteacher at Bradford Girls’ Grammar School, is leading the charge as an Inspire a Generation Activator and will be delivering sessions at the Bradford school. He said:
“I have always wanted to deliver wheelchair basketball in schools but there hasn’t been the opportunity due to funding the equipment. Inspire a Generation has provided the perfect opportunity for us to deliver sessions across the whole school.
“British Wheelchair Basketball have been great and have provided support, guidance, and training to upskill our staff in becoming Activators. To see more schools (both primary and secondary-aged) involved would be great, regardless of whether they have disabled students or not. It’s important for children to see past the chair and see the person, breaking down existing social barriers & stereotypes. The children also love the fact that it is a unique opportunity for them – it’s a real conversation starter!”
To find out where your nearest sessions are, to become a Community Activator or register your club / school’s interest in the programme, visit www.inspireageneration.com.