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UK Disability Leisure Workforce Project Wins International Award

Thursday 14th November 2019

On Friday 18th October, Aspire’s InstructAbility programme won the coveted International Innovation Prize, awarded by the World Leisure Organisation (WLO).

The presentation took place on the opening day of the 4th World Leisure Expo & Forum in Hangzhou, China.

Dr. Roger Coles, WLO Chairman and Hu Wei, Vice Mayor of Hanzhou, presented the ‘George’ trophy to Hilary Farmiloe, InstructAbility Lead at Aspire. The trophy, is named after the late Dr George Torkildsen (1934-2005, UK), a pioneer of leisure management theory and former WLO Chairman.

Farmiloe said,

“This is a huge honour and I’d like to think that George Torkildsen would be proud of the work we are doing to make leisure management roles accessible and inclusive to more Disabled people. We look forward to working with the WLO to build relationships with international colleagues in this field of work.”

InstructAbility, supported by main funder, Sport England, has enabled over 400 Disabled people to gain industry qualifications and work experience, with many moving into employment and further professional development.

Dr Trudie Walters, Chair of the WLO Innovation Prize Committee, said,

“InstructAbility is a valuable and innovative programme that epitomises the very essence of the WLO award, and we congratulate them on their vision and achievements.”

Aspire follows in the footsteps of other world leading initiatives that have been recognized by the WLO, gaining prestigious position and promotion in the international leisure field. The first opportunity for Aspire to share their work with a high-level international audience came via an invitation to present to delegates at the World Leisure Forum, an academic event gathering together top international experts to discuss different leisure topics.

Adam Blaze, Sport England’s Strategic Lead for Disability said,

We are delighted to see InstructAbility win this prestigious award. Sport England is determined to close the activity gap between Disabled people and non-Disabled people. A key part of achieving this will involve working with innovative organisations like Aspire and providing quality training and opportunities for Disabled people. With approximately 50% of people who complete the programme going into employment, Instructability is creating a more inclusive environment for people to get active alongside friends and family, as well as new skills which people can take into their professional lives.”

Aspire is now poised to influence the leisure landscape with the release of evidence-based industry guidelines for Disabled people, training providers and employers.

An interview with Hilary Farmiloe, filmed in Hangzhou can be viewed on the InstructAbility website

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