New Sports Club Online Toolkit Launched

Posted: Thu, 11 Oct 2012 08:57

New sports club online toolkit will benefit many more disabled people

Today the English Federation of Disability Sport are pleased to unveil the Inclusion Club Hub. The new online toolkit will support sports clubs to improve provision and opportunities, so that more disabled people can be active at a local level.

The toolkit can be accessed at and is free to use. It has been created by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) so more disabled people can be included in club activities. As it is online and suitable for mobile browsing, it means more clubs can use it at any convenient time. Clubs can use as an audit tool to find out how inclusive they are or a resource to support the club's development. Other support includes developing a club action plan, strengthening the Clubmark process, or general planning.

After a summer of sport, there has been a proven surge in disabled people looking for sports clubs, with reports of significant traffic increase. EFDS want to ensure disabled people who look for local opportunities can be guaranteed a quality experience once at the club. The Inclusion Club Hub can support this positive participation.

To start with, users are taken through a series of questions to find out more about their club. Their results are then sent directly to them, including ideas, methods and resources. The information contains case studies and better practice examples, so clubs can learn from others and adapt it to suit. These all help every club member to have a positive experience.

EFDS's research 'Understanding the barriers to participation' showed that there are a number of minor improvements a club can make, which would help disabled people to feel more comfortable in their environment. Examples include being open and direct towards disabled people, asking the level of support needed to be able to take part in the sport and slightly amending standard practices. The same research also identified the main way in which disabled people find out about sporting opportunities is through word of mouth from other disabled people.

Another piece of EFDS research reported disabled people feel disability specific clubs rather than NGB affiliated clubs have a better understanding of their needs in sport. Promoting the club's awareness of disabled people's needs and what it can offer helps to overcome these anxieties.

All members need to feel valued and receive equal opportunities. It makes perfect marketing sense- to grow a club means satisfying all members' needs. Satisfied customers will share their experience with other people they know and potential members.

EFDS work to support the sports sector and drive the inclusion of disabled people, who are still a largely under-represented group. For clubs, there is not one set way to improve inclusion. Clubs can include disabled people in a variety of ways. Some clubs run fully inclusive sessions which include all its members. Other clubs have bespoke groups and sessions for disabled people, but they are still delivered within the main club structure. These both benefit disabled people to enjoy sport as much as non-disabled people.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive of EFDS said:

"We are very proud of the Inclusion Club Hub. Clubs are often the first point for people to take part in sport, so disabled people need to know that clubs value their membership and will support them too. Inclusion Club Hub will certainly improve and increase opportunities for disabled people at a grassroots level. The extra support for clubs to deliver inclusive activities means more disabled people can enjoy sport and stay active for life".

Lisa O'Keefe, Director of Sport at Sport England, said:

"We welcome this new toolkit to help clubs to be more inclusive. High quality local opportunities, especially through clubs, are key to increasing the number of disabled people playing sport regularly. With additional support, a lot more sports clubs can inspire future generations to be active and develop a sporting habit for life".

Andy Reed, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance said:

"We're very excited about the Inclusion Club Hub. The Sport and Recreation Alliance is campaigning for as many of the UK's 150,000 sport and recreation clubs as possible to provide accessible environments where disabled people can effortlessly play alongside non-disabled people. This tool is a very welcome step towards achieving that aim."

Clare Macleod, Strategic Operations Manager for Sport England Clubmark said:

"Community sports clubs play a fundamental role in increasing and sustaining sports participation. In order for disabled people to have meaningful opportunities to participate within these clubs, they should be inclusive and welcoming to all. The EFDS toolkit will support clubs to improve what they offer in this area and thus deliver more for disabled people. It will also help clubs work towards Clubmark accreditation by ensuring they have the necessary provisions in place to provide for all members of their local community".

The Inclusion Club Hub follows Diversity Challenge (, which was unveiled in March. EFDS led on the creation of that self-evaluation tool with the other equality partners, to drive the inclusion of under-represented groups in sport. Both were created with Corporate Culture's expertise.

Andrew Malone, Head of Digital at Corporate Culture said:

"The challenge with the Inclusion Club Hub project was to bring to life a paper-based document. In addition to this, in the age of 4G coverage, the site is built responsively to cater for mobile browsing. So many club officials can even complete the toolkit from the side-lines, while cheering on their members."

Clubs can register on the Inclusion Club Hub straight away at


For further press information please contact:

Sarah Marl, Marketing and Communications Manager 07764 291671

For more information on EFDS please visit our website:

Find us on Twitter @Eng_Dis_Sport, Facebook and LinkedIn

Notes to Editors:

The English Federation of Disability Sport is the national body for disabled people in sport throughout England. Key areas of expertise include:

  • Providing advice, guidance and information on sport for disabled people.
  • Actively campaigning and lobbying to raise the profile of disabled sportswomen and sportsmen and to increase the opportunities available for disabled people to participate in sport and physical activity at all levels.
  • Influencing and supporting partners across the delivery system of sport to be more inclusive and to provide a greater range and quality of sporting opportunities for disabled people.
  • Attracting additional funds to sport for disabled people.
  • Working with partners to empower disabled people to take a more active role in all aspects of sport and physical activity. They include schools, colleges and universities as well as local county sports partnerships, National Governing Bodies for sport, local authorities, the voluntary sector and National Disability Sports Organisations.
  • Developing and rolling-out national programmes to improve access to sport and physical activity by disabled people, such as Playground to Podium and Inclusive Fitness Initiative.
  • Providing a range of inclusive, high quality training and coaching opportunities to increase the number of disabled people involved in sport and physical activity.
  • Providing a comprehensive competition calendar through Disability Sport Events to increase the number of disabled people participating at all levels of the player pathway, and support the identification and development of talented performers.
  • EFDS receives funding from Sport England as its national partner for disabled people in sport.

Tags: EFDS, disabilty