The Active Lives Survey shows more disabled people becoming active

Sport England has published the latest official statistics from the Active Lives Survey, the most comprehensive snapshot of the nation’s sport and physical activity habits, based on a sample of almost 180,000 respondents. The report also shows a positive increase for disabled people.

  • Survey shows highest number of active people ever recorded and lowest ever level of people doing less than 30 minutes of activity a week.
  • Improvements driven by women and older adults.
  • Active people report higher levels of mental wellbeing and are more likely to be satisfied with their life, feel happier and less anxious.
  • Those benefits are still less likely to be accessed by less affluent people, where lower activity and higher inactivity rates remain.

The results show the highest level of activity ever recorded – 1,015,700 million more people are active now, compared to when the survey started in 2015. Active means meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended amount of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week.

The report also makes clear the mental health benefits of being active. When asked to rate their mental health on a scale of 0-10, active people reported feeling:

  • More satisfied with their lives.
  • Happier.
  • More likely to feel the things they do in life are worthwhile.
  • Less anxious.

Spanning the period May 2018 – May 2019, the survey also shows that the number of adults doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week has decreased by 131,700 since 2015.

The decreasing inactivity levels are driven by women and adults aged 55 and over. These are groups that Sport England has focussed on in its strategy Towards an Active Nation with campaigns such as This Girl Can, a £10 million fund for projects that support people 55 and over to get active.

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive at Sport England said:

“It’s really excellent news that a record number of people are now active every week and that we’re also seeing a significant decrease in the amount of inactive people.

“It shows us that efforts to help more people get active are starting to make a real difference, particularly for older adults, women and those with a disability or long-term health condition.

“But we can’t be complacent. Within the overall positive picture of these figures is a sobering reality – if you are well-off you are far more likely to be active than if you’re on a low income or less affluent.

“While there are complex barriers that stop less well-off people from getting active, this is an unacceptable inequality and one we’re starting to address in the work we are doing across the country – including piloting programmes in 12 local areas to tackle inequality.

“Being active has positive benefits for mental and physical wellbeing, strengthens communities and helps build confidence and resilience. We urge anyone working towards helping people live healthier lives – whether that’s government policy makers or health professionals – to consider physical activity as a vehicle to help drive positive outcomes, so that everyone can benefit.”

The Active Lives Survey showed for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions:
An increase in activity levels (216,300 more) and a decrease in inactivity levels (107,800 fewer) amongst disabled people or people with long-term health conditions, showing efforts to support these groups are working.

However, they are still twice as likely to be inactive than non-disabled people, so work continues to support and inspire people into physical activity. This includes the new campaign We Are Undefeatable, which Cerebral Palsy Sport has promoted and led by 15 of the leading health and social care charities and backed with National Lottery funding and expertise by Sport England.

Cerebral Palsy Sport’s Start and Stay Active project is funded by Sport England to enable more people with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities to become more active. Learn more about the project here

Cerebral Palsy Sport inducts Paralympians into Hall of Fame on World CP Day

Paralympic swimmer Matthew Walker MBE and Paralympic footballer Martin Sinclair have been inducted into Cerebral Palsy Sport Hall of Fame at our Awards evening on 6th October 2019 – World Cerebral Palsy Day.

Matthew Walker MBE

Matthew is a four times Paralympian with multiple Paralympic, World and European swimming titles to his name. Matthew was born with Cerebral Palsy and started swimming as part of his physio which he hated. With the support of his family and swimming instructors he progressed though, local championships, county championships, CP galas, Nationals and onto European and World Championships. He has represented Great Britain at four Paralympic Games and he has medalled at all four Games including London 2012 where he dedicated his medal to his later father.

Matthew Walker MBE at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Matthew has been a Sporting Ambassador for Cerebral Palsy Sport since 2015 and coaches at the City of Manchester Aquatic Swim Team with the Matt Walker Academy for Disability Swimming and more recently swim North West Disability

To read Matthew’s Hall of Fame Story, please click here


Martin Sinclair

Martin is an English footballer who plays for the England Cerebral Palsy team, as well as being a SaintsAbility Development Officer for Saints Foundation. Sinclair’s catchphrase is “It’s about showcasing players ability, rather than their disability”.

Martin was born with cerebral palsy but still had ambitions of playing football and he realised those dreams. Martin was born with cerebral palsy but still had ambitions of playing football.  Martin was selected to represent Great Britain at the London 2012 Summer Paralympic Games as part of a twelve-player squad for the 7-a-side football event. Martin and his brother Scott became the first brothers to represent Great Britain at a Paralympic and Olympic Games in the same year.

Martin has over 50 caps for England and he came out of retirement in 2016 and in 2018 was selected to represent England at the IFCPF European Championships in the Netherlands. In July 2019 Martin was again selected to represent England at the IFCPF Cerebral Palsy Football World Cup in Spain. 

To read Maartin’s Hall of Fame Story, please click here

Cerebral Palsy Sport calls for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s Community Fund

Cerebral Palsy Sport are bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grant initiative.

To celebrate Tesco’s Centenary, the supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork to deliver a special voting round of its community funding scheme which will see grants of £25,000, £15,000 and £10,000 awarded to community projects.

Three groups in each Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Cerebral Palsy Sport is one of the charities on the shortlist.

Cerebral Palsy Sport’s On Your Marks Cerebral Palsy RaceRunning Project is for children and young people with cerebral palsy to try inclusive RaceRunning to help them discover the joys of sport.

Ali Talbot, Cerebral Palsy Sport’s Chief Executive said:

“We are delighted that our On Your Marks RaceRunning Project has been chosen for the public vote at part of Tesco’s Centenary Bags for Help Centenary Grant scheme. RaceRunning is an adapted and inclusive athletics activity where people with cerebral palsy are able to run and be active using a RaceRunner. A RaceRunner is a three wheeled frame with no pedals where the individual is supported by a saddle and body plate. RaceRunning enables people with physical disabilities to change from passive spectators to active participants and we want to reach so many more people through this project. Please support us with your token in store to help change lives”.

Voting is open in all Tesco stores in October, November and December across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland and customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Please vote for Cerebral Palsy Sport!

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already provided over £75 million to more than 25,000 projects across Britain. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“Bags of Help contributes funds to community projects up and down the country and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers voting in their local stores. We’re looking forward to seeing more projects brought to life.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down Britain to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.

Disabled Children’s Partnership calls for three ‘Pilllars’ to support disabled children

“To make a real difference to lives of disabled children, the Government must make them a priority, including by appointing a Minister for Disabled Children; by clarifying and reviewing the rights and responsibilities within the system; and by ensuring there is sufficient funding for services for disabled children and their families.

These are the demands of the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) of which Cerebral Palsy Sport are members. The DCP have identified three pillars to underpin and ensure improved support for disabled children and their families.  Stephen Kingdom, DCP Campaign Manager has written a blog setting out the way to build better support for children and families, and you can read it below.

To make a real difference to lives of disabled children, the Government must make them a priority, including by appointing a Minister for Disabled Children; clarifying and reviewing the rights and responsibilities within the system; and ensuring there is sufficient funding for services for disabled children and their families.

It’s been a turbulent few months in the country, with the Brexit deadline approaching and a possible election looming into view.  It is easy to forget that, therefore, that there are other things going on.  For the DCP, that means continuing to campaign for better support for disabled children and their families.  In this blog, DCP campaign manager Stephen Kingdom, sets out three pillars on which to build better support for children and families.

In the midst of the recent political drama, there have also been some important developments and announcements for disabled children and their families over the summer.  In June, the DCP launched our new Give It Back campaign with The Sun, calling on the government to put back the £434 million missing from budgets for social care for disabled children.  In July, the Commons Education Committee published a report on school funding which described the funding for special educational needs and disability as ‘completely inadequate’; and this was followed this month by a damning National Audit Office report which concluded that ‘The system for supporting pupils with SEND is not, on current trends, financially sustainable’.  At the same time, the Local Government Association reported a £1.4 billion – and growing – funding gap for children’s services.

The Government has responded with additional funding for schools and for social care; and with the announcement of a review of the SEND system.  These are, of course to be welcomed.  But that welcome needs to be heavily caveated.  The additional funding for schools includes £700 million for ‘high needs’, but this is less that the projected shortfall and only guaranteed for one year.  As for the social care, the increased funding needs to meet the well-documented pressures on adult social care; as well as child protection and children in care.  It is doubtful that much, if any, of the increased funding will reach disabled children and their families.  And whilst we are pleased to see the government has recognised the need to review how the system is working, it is action we need to address the crisis in support for disabled children and their families.

To this end, we have identified three pillars to underpin and ensure improved support for disabled children and their families.  These will form our main campaigning calls for the next year:

Pillar one

Make disabled children a priority

Disabled children to be made a priority across government, at both national and local level and the Government to appoint a Minister for Disabled Children

At both national and local level, responsibility for the support that disabled children and their families need sits with a range of organisations.  All too often, the needs of disabled children and their families are not the priority within those services; and no-one sees it as their responsibility to ensure that services join-up and meet the needs of families.  This needs to change: the government should appoint a Minister for Disabled Children with clear responsibility, accountability and power across departments to make sure that the right support from health, social care, education and other services is in place for families.  This arrangement should also be mirrored in local areas.

Pillar two

Clarify rights and review the law

The government to work with parents to clarify the existing rights and entitlements; and to undertake a review of the legal framework to strengthen and simplify it.

The existing law related to disabled children and their families stems from over 10 different Acts of Parliament, regulations and guidance which have developed over the past 50 years.  It is difficult for parents to navigate; and it leads to different services and agencies shifting responsibility between themselves, and with families falling between the gaps.  The government must work with parents to improve guidance on the current system – so that it is easier for them to know their rights – and introduce reforms to make the system simpler, and rights and responsibilities clearer.

Pillar three

Address funding shortfalls and create a dedicated fund 

The government to increase funding for health and social care for disabled children to meet the current funding gap; and to introduce a new innovation fund to support joined-up working and early intervention.

There is currently a £1.5 billion funding gap across health and social care support for disabled children and their families.  The government must fill this funding gap as a matter of urgency.

To support longer term sustainability, we are also calling on the government to set up an Early Intervention and Family Resilience Innovation Fund. This would support projects that transform disabled children’s health and social care by fixing problems at the earliest point of identified need and by focusing on the family as a whole. The Fund would initially support a vanguard of innovative service providers but with the infrastructure to upscale successful projects, leading to cashable savings, as well as long-term economic and social return. Projects would be robustly evaluated and learning would be shared to ensure that what works is promoted and has a sustained impact on the lives of disabled children and their families.

Get involved

You can help support our campaign now by signing our open letter to the Chancellor asking him to give back the £434 million missing from social care budgets for disabled children  https://support.disabledchildrenspartnership.org.uk/en-gb/give-it-back

Darren Ward Team crowned Basher’s Golf Day Champions

Darren Ward’s team took the honours at our Patron Basher Hussan’s 17th Charity Golf Day held at the beautiful Oakmere Park Golf Club in Nottinghamshire on September 18th 2019.

12 teams competed for the title and all golfers had a wonderful day raising over £3,000 for Cerebral Palsy Sport. After a great day of golf which included Beat the Pro, Longest Drive and Nearest the Pin challenges, all the team enjoyed a two course meal and the presentation of the prizes and raffle draw.

We are incredibly grateful for the support by Basher and all his friends. Thank you from everyone at Cerebral Palsy Sport!


Basher’s Charity Golf Day Results

The results of the hole competitions were:

Longest Drive –Jordon Boulton

Jordon being presented with is prize by Basher Hussan – Patron of Cerebral Palsy Sport

Nearest the Pin 8th Hole: Bob Ward

Bob being presented with is prize by Basher Hussan – Patron of Cerebral Palsy Sport

Nearest the Pin: 15th Hole: Rob Harris

Rob being presented with is prize by Basher Hussan – Patron of Cerebral Palsy Sport

The final Team results were:

1st: Darren Ward Team – Score: 91


2nd: Adrian Stannard’s Team – Score 86


3rd: Portland Fishing Lakes – Score 82

Portland fishing Lakes receiving their prizes from Basher

Photos from Basher’s Charity Golf Day 2019 – Oakmere Park Golf Club

Jas Samar’s team
Jas Jahal’s team
Portland Fishing Lakes Team – one of our brilliant sponsors teams and 3rd place.
Basher’s Team
Adrian Stannard’s Team – 3rd place team
Champions UK Team – one of our brilliant sponsors teams!
M2K Services Team – one of our brilliant sponsors teams

Our sincere thanks goes to our sponsors Portland Fishing Lakes, M2K Services, Champions UK plc and Arena UK for supporting the charity golf day.

Thank you to Daryl and all the team at Oakmere Park Golf Club for hosting us so well.

A big thank you to our team members and volunteers who helped on the day.

Thank you!

Chief Medical Officer releases new physical activity guidance

New Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guidance issued today emphasises the importance of building strength and balance for adults, as well as focusing on cardiovascular exercise. Falls are the number one reason older people are taken to A&E. It could be avoided through daily activities ranging from brisk walking, carrying heavy shopping or climbing stairs, swimming and gardening.

Cerebral Palsy Sport is one of the national disability sports organisations supporting more people with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities to become more active through our activity programmes.

The UK’s top doctors are recommending over-65s take up dancing, bowls or even activities like tai chi to help stave off injury and illness in old age.

The guidance advises on safe levels of activity for pregnant women or new mums, and the many benefits that this can bring. As long as they listen to their body and speak to their health professional.

There is strong evidence that physical activity protects against a range of chronic conditions. Meeting the guidelines can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 40 per cent, coronary heart disease by 35 per cent and depression by 30 per cent. 

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies said:

“Physical activity is an under-appreciated asset in our clinical arsenal. It is cheap and brings a long list of health benefits.

“As we age, our muscles weaken and we can become stiff, leading to falls and difficulty preforming everyday activities. Physical activity can prevent fragility and support mobility in old age. By keeping active, both throughout the day and also through hobbies, we can slow muscle and bone decline, ultimately keeping us independent for longer.” 

Under the new guidelines, adults are advised to undertake strength-based exercise at least two days a week – which can help delay the natural decline in muscle mass and bone density that starts from around 50 years old. 

Read new CMO physical activity guidelines here

To learn more about our activity programmes, please click here.

Erodex crowned 2019 Kevin O’Connor Charity Golf Day Champions

Over 40 golfers took part in Kevin O’Connor’s charity golf day at South Staffordshire Golf Club on a sunny 20th June 2019 in aid of Cerebral Palsy Sport.

Kevin has supported the charity over the past three years and the funds raised from his unique charity golf days has enabled children, young people and adults with Cerebral Palsy to discover the joys of swimming for the first time.

Kevin O’Connor

Following an enjoyable day of golfing fun for all the teams, the golfers enjoyed a two course dinner and then geared up for the charity auction and presentation of prizes. Thank you to everyone who donated auction items for this year’s charity auction.


Golf Day Results

Our 2019 charity golf day Longest Drive Award went to Trevor Hatt.

Kevin and Trevor receiving his Longest Drive Award.

The Nearest the Pin Award was won by Ryan Glenister. Collected by Trevor Hat

There was plenty of competition for our Pro in the Beat the Pro Competition and only three players managed to Beat our Pro – Matt:

  • Kevin O’Connor
  • Ryan Glenister
  • Mark Searl

When it came to the presentations of prizes, Erodex were crowned champions of the day and took home the trophy.

Kevin and Team Erodex with their trophy and prizes.

Team Erodex

They were closely followed by De Beers – Graham’s Oldies who took second place.

The 2019 Kevin O’Connor Charity Golf Day raised over £2,300 for Cerebral Palsy Sport

Kevin spoke of his gratitude of everyone who played in the golf day and said: 

“I am delighted that the eleventh annual Kevin O’Connor Charity Golf day has managed to raise such a fabulous amount of money for this very deserving charity.  The entire event would not be possible without the participation of the players, the support from Liz and Alison as well as that of Ali Talbot and Jen Basford from Cerebral Palsy Sport and of course, Sue LeBeau and her wonderful staff at South Staffs Golf Club.  I am looking forward to next year’s event already.  In the meantime happy golfing and happy swimming. “

The funds raised in this year’s charity golf day will help support the Worcester Swimming Development Gala that is taking place on October 19th 2019 at Perdiswell Leisure Centre in Worcester as well as further swimming development in the West Midlands in early 2020.

Thank you to everyone who supported the golf day and thank you especially to Kevin for your fantastic support.

Thank you!

Cerebral Palsy Sport welcomes new Trustees

Cerebral Palsy Sport is delighted to welcome two new Trustees to its Board of Trustees following an external recruitment process and induction.

Paul Hermann and Professor Janusz Jankowski joined the Board as Trustees and Non Executive Directors and bring with them a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to make a difference to the the charity.


Paul is a Senior Technical Manager at Cisco Systems, where he leads Digital Transformation and IT Strategy for Cisco’s key customers.  Having been in IT and IT Consultancy for over 20 years and as a technical expert, Paul brings a wealth of experience and skills primarily in the Finance and Public Sector verticals.

Paul is also a passionate and active Inclusion and Diversity Ambassador, a Mentor for Early in Career groups and a volunteer for various charities

Paul Hermann

Professor Janusz Jankowski is trained in clinical medicine, health science research and education. He has worked in senior hospital management as a director and board member in NHS trusts and similarly has been a senior executive in several Universities. He has also been a consultant adviser in health most notably to the Department of Health and Social Care as well as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as well as to Parliamentary Committees. Furthermore, he has worked with several charities in the health and sports arena on a pro bono basis.

Date: May 2019

Professor Janusz Jankowski

Sport England release first Active Lives Children and Young People Survey results

World-leading new research published by Sport England, carried out independently by Ipsos MORI, provides the richest evidence yet on which factors positively influence the chance of a child being active. The release comes at a crucial time, given the imminent release of the Government’s School Sport Action plan, its green paper on preventing long-term health conditions, and the plans to use physical activity to integrate communities and reduce childhood obesity

RaceRunning   Swimming

Currently around 3 million children and young people (43.3%) are active, but a third of children (32.9%) are less active, doing less than 30 minutes of activity a day.

To understand this, Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People Attitudes Survey – which is the largest survey of its kind – asked children about their attitudes towards sport and physical activity. The results prove for the first time that children’s physical literacy impacts not only the amount of activity they do, but also how much they benefit from this activity.

Physical literacy means that children have a positive attitude towards five elements of taking part in sport and physical activity: enjoyment, confidence, competence (how easy they find it), understanding (that it is beneficial) and knowledge (knowing how to get involved and improve).

The key findings are:

  1. Physically literate children do twice as much activity. The more of the five elements of physical literacy children have, the more active they are.
  2. Enjoyment is the biggest driver of activity levels. Despite the majority of children (68%) understanding that sport and activity is good for them, understanding has the least impact on activity levels.
  3. Children who have all five elements of physically literacy report higher levels of happiness, are more trusting of other children, and report higher levels of resilience (continuing to try if you find something difficult).
  4. Physical literacy decreases with age. As children grow older, they report lower levels of enjoyment, confidence, competence, and understanding. Previous research from Sport England shows that activity levels drop when children reach their teenage years.
  5. The results also reveal important inequalities among certain groups of children which must be tackled:
  • Girls are less likely to say they enjoy or feel confident about doing sport and physical activity (58% of boys enjoy it, compared to 43% of girls. 47% of boys feel confident, compared to 31% of girls). In children aged 5-7, boys are more likely to love playing sport, while girls are more likely to love being active.
  • Children from the least affluent families are less likely to enjoy activity than those from the most affluent families, and previous research shows they are also far less likely to be active.
  • Black children are more physically literate than other ethnic groups – particularly boys, but are less active than the population as a whole.

Commenting, Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive at Sport England said:

“This is a critical moment for all of society to better understand what will motivate young people to get active.  This survey gives us the richest evidence yet that sport and physical activity for children needs to be fun and enjoyable above all.

“The fact that a third of children aren’t nearly as active as they need to be demonstrates that we need to do things differently if we want to build a generation of young people who want to take part in physical activity as children and into adulthood.

“With previous research showing that active children have better levels of attendance and achievement, we must prioritise physical literacy with the same vigour that we address numeracy and literacy. Doing so could not only help teaching and learning outcomes, it could be hugely beneficial for the physical and mental health of our children.

“We hope these results will be considered and acted on by all who deliver activity and sport. At Sport England, we look forward to playing our part to get children active as we roll out our national programme to train over 17,000 secondary school teachers in how to offer a greater breadth of PE and school sport that meets the needs of all pupils.”

Mims Davies, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said:

“The message is clear – fun and enjoyment is what gets and keeps children active. We know an active child is a happier child but too many are losing the confidence and enjoyment of sporting activities as they get older.

“Our upcoming cross Government School Sport Action Plan will help to ensure all children have access to quality PE, sporting sessions and clubs – in school, after school, during weekends and holidays.

“I want to work with the sector as they play their part in making sport and physical activity both enjoyable and engaging for young people of all abilities and backgrounds.”

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:

“We are committed to helping young people live happy and healthy lives by staying active. That’s why this Government introduced the first-ever strategy to tackle childhood obesity as well as boosting the PE and Sport Premium to invest £320 million every year to help primary schools deliver sport.

“We are also encouraging more young people to get involved in physical activity – last year we announced plans to help more children swim confidently and are working with leading sporting bodies, including the Premier League and England Hockey, to increase participation in competitive sports in our schools.

“That all comes ahead of our School Sport Action Plan, which we will publish shortly, to help get more young people active and enjoying the benefits of sport.”

The full report can be downloaded via the Sport England website.

England Athletics launch new project to attract new officials

Interested in Athletics officiating? England Athletics are launching a new scheme aimed at giving people the chance to shadow an experienced and qualified official at a 2019 England Championship event and start measuring success.
The project also gives people first-hand experience officiating at one of England Athletics’ National Championship events throughout the year.

This project is open to anyone who is interested in officiating, and would like to give it a try, shadowing one of their  experienced officials at an EA championships in a variety of disciplines and events.
the events where this can take place is:
23–24 February 2019 –  England U20, U17 & U15 Indoor Championships, Sheffield.
9–10 March 2019 – England U17 & U15 Combined Events Championships, Sheffield
25–26 May 2019 –  England Senior & U20 Combined Events Championships, Bedford
22–23 June 2019 – England Athletics U23 & U20 Championships, Bedford
27–28 July 2019 – England Senior & UKCAU Championships, Manchester
3–4 August 2019 –  England U17 & U15 Combined Events Championships, Manchester
14 Augusr 2019 –  Manchester International, Manchester
31 August –1 September 2019 –  England U17 & U15 Championships, Bedford

To register your interest, please visit their website here

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