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Progressive Steps for Ards and North Down Disability Sports Hub

Thu 25th July 2019

Disability Sport NI and Progressive Building Society have partnered on a new three-year partnership to support the development of Disability Sports Hubs across Northern Ireland, improving the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities. It will be the first time ever that Northern Ireland’s main disability sports charity will have 11 part-time activity leaders based in every single council area.

The Disability Sports Hub Activity Leader for Ards and North Down, Tim Craig is the trailblazer for the initiative. Having recently taken up post, Tim was proud to join Disability Sport NI’s Chairperson Michael McAteer MBE to meet the Progressive Building Society’s Branch Managers; Lyn Crawford from Newtownards Branch and Kerry MacDougall from Bangor Branch, to launch the new partnership at one of the Hubs boccia programmes for local day centres. 

There has been a number of new disability sports initiatives in Bangor Aurora and Bangor Sportsplex supported by Tim Craig and SERCO (the leisure operators for Bangor area) including a wheelie active club, boccia programmes and an inclusive cycling programme. Full details on disability sports clubs in Ards and North Down will be available through Tim who can be contacted on tcraig@dsni.co.uk.

The launch of the Ards and North Down Disability Sports Hub marks the start of a very exciting journey. According to Disability Sport NI’s Chairperson Michael McAteer MBE, “The new partnership with Progressive Building Society is off to a great start and it was a pleasure to meet local branch managers Kerry and Lyn to celebrate the launch of the partnership in Ards and North Down. 

“Tim is doing a fantastic job in developing the Ards and North Down Disability Sports Hub and we hope that the project continues to gain momentum as we recruit further Hub Activity Leaders and roll the project out in every single council area.”
 
Progressive Branch Managers Kerry MacDougall and Lyn Crawford were very positive about the partnership with Kerry saying, “It is great to see such a positive initiative in my branch area that will benefit the people living in this local community. 

“As an organisation we are passionate about working together for the better of everyone and feel that the partnership with Disability Sport NI will fit firmly within this ethos.”

The new Northern Ireland wide partnership between Disability Sport NI and Progressive Building Society will develop over 11,000 participation opportunities for people with disabilities, transforming access to disability sports in Northern Ireland. 

The support from Progressive Building Society will continue the momentum of the Active Living: No Limits 2021 Action Plan which has already seen up to £1,000,000 of disability sports equipment secured for the sector through Disability Sport NI and funded by the Department for Communities through Sport NI, an initiative that has been strongly supported by the local council areas. 

The Disability Sports Hub Project will continue to develop new clubs and programmes all across the country to include programmes such as wheelie active, wheelchair basketball, boccia, sensory and inclusive cycling. This project will raise the visibility of disability sports opportunities and encourage more people with a disability to be active and be the best. 

For further information on the Disability Sport NI and Progressive Building Society partnership please visit: https://theprogressive.com/your-society/our-responsibilities/supporting-local-communities-charities.

An image of a group playing boccia

An image of a boccia group sitting posing for the camera with representatives from Disability Sport NI and The Progressive Building Society