INCLUSIVE SPORT MAKES A COMEBACK!
Cork SportsAbility Month took place throughout Cork during September with come-and-try opportunities scheduled throughout the month.
Over 400 people with disabilities, with their families and friends, took part in this year’s Cork SportsAbility Month, which included a variety of opportunities, including watersports, land-based activities as well as many sporting opportunities.
Cork Sports Partnership teamed up with a number of partner organisations during the month to coordinate FREE flagship events and taster sessions across a range of different activities to showcase the many opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in sport and physical activity throughout Cork.
On September 4th, Cork Sports Partnership together with Triathlon Ireland hosted an Inclusive Splash and Dash event in Fermoy Leisure Centre where 25 children with disabilities and their siblings took part in a splash and dash swim, run, walk or roll challenge.
“This inclusive Splash and Dash enabled children with disabilities to participate in a triathlon in a safe and fun environment and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We look forward to building on the success of this event and strengthening our relationship with Triathlon Ireland for more events in the future.” commented Cliona Horan, Cork Sports Partnership, Sports Inclusion Disability Officer (SIDO).
Next up in the month’s jam-packed schedule was the ever-popular Watersports Inclusion Day in Kinsale on September 10th. The aim of the day was to facilitate inclusive watersports activity for the whole family. Activities on offer included sailing, surfing, kayaking and inclusive powerboating.
Over 80 people enjoyed activities led by qualified instructors from Kinsale OEC, Kinsale Yacht club, Surf 2 Heal and Sailing into Wellness. Jon Hynes, director of Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre was happy with the success of the event “Our Wheelyboat was in operation for the full season and with so many trips for people all over Cork and beyond. So many people benefit from regular opportunities to meet through sport, feel good and enjoy nature. We will have much more to offer in 2023.”
After a two-year break, Cork SportsAbility Day returned to the Mardyke Arena UCC on September 17th. The event, sponsored Blackwater Motors Volkswagen, aims to increase awareness of and participation in sport and physical activity for people with disabilities.
Visitors were treated to over 20 different sport & physical activity come & try opportunities on the day ranging from Badminton, Indoor Bowls, Table Tennis & Wheelchair Rugby to Boxing, Cycling with adapted bikes, Fishing, Athletics, and Tennis.
Speaking at the event, Coordinator with Cork Sports Partnership, Kristine Meenaghan, welcomed all in attendance and highlighted the importance of events like Cork SportsAbility Day, ‘We are delighted to host Cork SportsAbility Day again after a short absence. Come and try events like today provide an excellent opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to find a new activity and learn about clubs they may not otherwise have heard of’.
Kristine added ‘Special mention and thanks to our event sponsors Blackwater Motors, partners Mardyke Arena UCC and the support of the clubs, groups and organisations around Cork who are dedicated to providing opportunities for people with disabilities to get active’.
Visitors also had the opportunity to meet and engage with over 20 organisations that offer participation pathways and provided information and advice on supports available for people with disabilities.
Cliona Horan, Sports Inclusion Disability Officer with Cork Sports Partnership outlined her appreciation for the role these organisations played in the day, saying, ‘This event celebrates all things SportsAbility in Cork, it was a pleasure working with the Cork SportsAbility Forum on this event and I would like to thank all the clubs, community groups and sporting organisations who supported people to find a new activity and made this day a huge success!’
Localised programmes were also delivered during the month, Learn to Cycle programmes, catering for 18 children, ran in the city and in West Cork, Local clubs held open days for people with disabilities to come and try activities, and Cork’s first inclusive family play event took place in the Crann centre and was enjoyed by 50 families.
For more information on any upcoming events or programmes, visit www.corksportsability.ie or check out Cork SportsAbility Facebook page www.facebook.com/corksportsability
Help promote all things SportsAbility in Cork with our Facebook & Twitter #CorkSportsAbility Campaign.