We have all changed our relationships to sport and physical activity as the pandemic progressed, but sadly Disability equality charity Scope report that almost half (48 per cent) of Disabled people have said that they had become less active since the pandemic began.
This lack of activity has dramatically worsened their mental and physical health especially considering that 91 per cent want to be more active. This news as well as being distressing clearly highlights that too many barriers exist for Disabled people to be able to access sport and physical activity. Scope’s research released yesterday found Disabled people experienced many barriers in sport settings, including:
With these barriers in mind, Scope is launching a new fully accessible virtual sporting fundraiser called Make it Count which they hope will inspire more Disabled people to get active. The fundraiser will take place alongside the Tokyo Paralympic Games, between 24 August and 5 September, when the attention of people around the globe will rightly focus on disability sport.
We all know that exclusion from sport and physical activity is still an everyday reality for too many Disabled people. Scope wants to create a movement of movers – people setting themselves an active challenge to stop Disabled people from being forgotten.
With our new accessible fundraising event, everybody's included.
— Scope (@scope) July 13, 2021
Unlike other sports challenges that focus on long distances, Make it Count participants will clock up minutes doing an active challenge whilst raising vital funds for Scope. Its focus is on setting a personal challenge for the individual rather than on grand statements, keeping it accessible to all.
Taking part is simple – first, choose an active challenge to take during the 13 days. This could be anything from walking, wheeling or running, to yoga, dancing or keepy-uppies! A daily challenge, a one-off, or anything in between. Alone, or in a team.
Secondly, participants are asked to clock up minutes – aiming for a target and seeing how they progress. Whether it is 5 or 500 minutes, achievable challenges are the aim of the game.
Of course, the focus of Make it Count is to raise funds for Scope and although there is no fundraising target, however, if participants raise over £100 they will receive an exclusive Make It Count medal to mark their achievement.
Ultimately Make it Count is designed to celebrate inclusive sport, and Scope is calling on sporting facilities around the UK to make themselves more accessible to Disabled people. This is a flagship initiative and has been co-produced with Disabled people. Importantly it is a virtual challenge where everybody is encouraged to get active in their own way to support Scope and equality for Disabled people.
Mark Hodgkinson, Chief Executive of Scope said:
“By launching Make it Count, we want to create a movement of movers – we want to inspire people to set themselves an active challenge, raise vital funds for Scope and celebrate inclusivity in sport. It could be 5 minutes; it could be 500. Whatever you do to get moving, we are asking people to make it count.”
So, there you have it – sign up and you’ll get your very own Make It Count page to collect sponsorship and log those all-important minutes. Scope will be pooling everyone’s minutes into a totaliser so they can celebrate the collective time that we all spent getting active to support equality for Disabled people.
Make It Count will be a celebration of inclusive sport and everyone involved hopes it will inspire people to keep getting active once the challenge is done. However you get moving, every minute counts. Start the clock!