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Disabled people in Wirral will have more opportunities to get involved in sport after Wirral Autistic Society received £187,896 of funding from Sport England’s Inclusive Sport fund.

The Society is one of 44 projects across England that will benefit from £8.06 million of National Lottery investment from Sport England to open up more opportunities for disabled people to play sport.

Wirral Autistic Society will use its funding to deliver trampolining and gymnastics sessions to young people and adults with autism. The funding will be used to recruit an activity leader, two coaches, develop disability coaching and purchase new equipment to promote and deliver sessions at The Drill, Grange Road West Sports Centre.

Community Development Activity Manager, Neil Murphy, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be receiving funding from Sport England’s Inclusive Sport Fund. It means a great deal to Wirral Autistic Society and its service users as it provides invaluable funding to help us extend the opportunities for adults with autism to get involved in trampolining and gymnastics working in partnership with The Drill, Grange Road West Sports Centre.”

Sport England Director of Insight, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “We are delighted to be able to help Wirral Autistic Society provide more opportunities for disabled people to give sport a go. Record numbers of disabled people now play sport and it’s thanks to projects like this that we can continue to improve opportunities and make a real difference in communities.”

The number of disabled people playing sport regularly is on the rise. In December 2013, Sport England’s Active People Survey – an annual, in-depth measure of the nation’s sporting habits – revealed that a record number of disabled people in England now play sport each week. However, non-disabled people are still twice as likely to play sport as disabled people (39.2 per cent compared to 18.5 per cent) which is why Sport England continues to focus attention and investment to address this imbalance.

Sport England’s Inclusive Sport Fund supports programmes that aim to increase the number of disabled people playing sport. Since the fund launched, £17.1 million has been invested in 88 projects that make sport a viable lifestyle choice for disabled people.

As well as funding disability sport programmes, Sport England also funds equipment. In addition to today’s £8.06 million announcement, Sport England also recently awarded £1 million to 141 clubs across England to help them buy equipment to open up sport to disabled people.