Cerebral Palsy Sport Award Finalists announced

The finalists for the Cerebral Palsy Sport Awards 2019 have been confirmed. Nominations have been submitted over the past two months for the annual awards ceremony which will take place on Sunday 6th October 2019, World CP Day, at the University of Nottingham where the winners will be announced.

The following finalists are confirmed:

Sports Achiever of the Year:

Toby Markham (Athletics, Running)

Thomas Talbot ( Athletics, RaceRunning)

Lucas Town (Wheelchair Tennis)

Volunteer of the Year:

Julie Bowler (Football)

Phil Fleetwood (RaceRunning)

Richard Mee (Football)

Club of the Year:

Newtown Sports Club (Football)

CP North West (Football)

City of Manchester Aquatics swim team – Matt Walker Academy (Swimming)

Coach of the Year:

Mark Lodge (Athletics)

Julie Bowler (Football)

Leah Poole (Football)

Official of the Year:

Pat Sheldon (Athletics)

Ann Basford (Swimming)

Terry Jeyles (Football)

The winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on 6th October 2019 at the University of Nottingham.

Read more about our Awards and previous winners here

Positive response to the Referee and Volunteer Workshop with the National CP League

A free workshop was held on Saturday 17th August at Tresham College, Kettering for football Referees and Volunteers.

The workshop provided those who attended with an overview of the National CP Football League and the structure of the league for the 2019-2020 season.
Ten participants attended the workshop either in person or via a Webex. There was a mix of current referees within the league and new referees keen to be involved in the league for the upcoming season.  

Comments from those who took part:

“The league rules are clear, it’s important Referees have a good understanding, so the workshop was good. Understanding the classification system was beneficial to me.”

“Course was clear to understand and delivered in a relaxed manner which made it a positive experience.”

“Very interesting and engaging. I have learnt a lot and hopefully will get more involved.”

“A Learning day.”

The CP National League fixtures take place from Saturday 28th September.

For more information Rich Kerr 0115 925 7027 or email Richard.kerr@csport.org

Girls shine at St Georges Park for Female Cerebral Palsy Football event

St Georges Park, near Burton on Trent welcomed female players along to the CP Sport Female Football event, on Sunday 4th August 2019.

Following the success and profile form the Lionesses over the summer, 10 enthusiastic players attended the CP female football even at the training venue for England’s National sides.
The aim of the event was to bring female players together proving them with the opportunity to have fun, experience playing football, and leave them with enthusiasm to continue to play.

The players and family where given a guided tour of the facilities used by the National teams, including the Lionesses. Following the tour, the players took part in a football session on the indoor 3G pitch in the football centre.

The girls were coached through some basic activities and taught skills such as dribbling, passing and shooting which led into a fun game at the end.

The feedback from the players and participants has been really positive.

Player feedback:

“Coaches were amazing. Leant loads and want to learn more. Coaches were kind and helpful”

“It was good and it was good to be around people with CP.”

“I learnt to be captain and do a team talk and where Harry Kane sits.”

“Thank you for the opportunity today. I have enjoyed it and found it good because there were different ages and a unique experience.”

Parent feedback:

“What a great day and an amazing place with great coaches

Never seen my daughter so happy and involved as I have since starting CP Football. It’s an incredible resource thank you.”

“This was such as excellent and valuable experience for our daughter as she took part in activities that she would usually find daunting. She loved the event, made friends which she usually finds difficult and her confidence grew. Well done to the staff who run these fantastic events for females with CP.”

“Meeting children with the same disability has been empowering.”

Female players participating in the session at St Georges Park

World Record for CP Sport Young Ambassador Ellie

Cerebral Palsy Sport Young Sporting Ambassador Ellie Simpson set a new RaceRunning world record at the England Athletics Senior Championships in Manchester on the 28th July 2019.

In the 200m, Ellie’s time of 39.62s beat the previous record held by Kayleigh Haggo.

It was the second time RaceRunning was included at the England Athletics Senior Championships following its debut in 2018.

Ellie Simpson (centre)

Ellie first tried athletics after watching the London 2012 Paralympic Games and later discovered RaceRunning at at Cerebral Palsy Sport Athletics event. She now trains in Sheffield and has gone on to compete for Team CP England at two World Games and works hard to help raise the profile of the sport.

After breaking the World Record Ellie said to Cerebral Palsy Sport,

“I can’t believe I’ve broken a world record! Over the past year, I’ve changed my training and I’ve upped it by quite a lot – I was starting to see the improvements and rewards, but I thought a world record was still a way off, if at all. So it was incredible to break the world record, especially in the weather conditions in Manchester this past weekend. All the hard work truly paid off!”

Find out more about Ellie’s story here

RaceRunning has officially been recognised by the International Paralympic Committee and will feature for the first time in the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai this November.

Find out more about RaceRunning here

CP Sport pays tribute to Janice Eaglesham MBE

Cerebral Palsy Sport were saddened to hear of the sudden death of Janice Eaglesham MBE on Sunday.

One of the most influential individuals involved in disability sport in Scotland, Janice has been Chair of Scottish Disability Sport since 2014. She was also an active tutor delivering education and training courses across Scotland alongside her many other roles in disability sport.

As a member of the CPISRA RaceRunning committee Janice revolutionised the coaching methods of this athletics event and has been a huge support to Cerebral Palsy Sport RaceRunning events and athletes over many years, including at the CPISRA World Games in San Cugat in August 2018.

A pioneer in the coaching of RaceRunning. Janice along with her husband Ian Mirfin founded Red Star Athletics Club and under their coaching, numerous athletes have gone on to represent their country and win medals at World Championship and Paralympics. The club has also received many honours over the years, including Glasgow Club of the Year, and Janice and Ian jointly won Scotland’s Unsung Heroes. 

In 2016 Janice and Ian were both awarded MBEs in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in recognition of their services to disability sport.

 Janice’s contribution to disability sport has had a positive effect on many individuals and organisations and her passing will impact many. At this time our thoughts are with her husband Ian, her family and her many friends.


The Superhero Series – the UK’s only mass-participation sports series dedicated to people with disabilities – will have a powerful boost this year, as Marvel is announced as the headline sponsor for the 2019 Superhero Tri (17th August). The competitive family fun event will feature Marvel Super Hero characters and storytelling to help participants find their power before, during and after the challenge, and inspire more children and families to get involved.

With 1,500 participants, aged 3-81, already signed up – and more spaces still available – the first event of this year’s series will see people with any kind of disability come together to compete in a unique, solo or team challenge at 2012 Summer Paralympic and Olympic venue, Dorney Lake, Windsor.

The Superhero Tri throws out restrictive rules and regulations and encourages participants to use any method of support required to complete their challenge. All ‘gadgets and gismos’ are welcomed on the course, from floats and boats to adaptive bikes and trikes. Participants can choose between flying solo or teaming up with ‘Sidekicks’ (non-disabled family and friends) to take on the unique challenges with as much or as little time and support as they need.

With a huge emphasis on fun, Superhero Tri participants and their ‘Sidekicks’ are also encouraged to come along dressed as their favourite Super Hero.

The perfect partner for a day that is all about inspiring participants to unlock their inner super power, Marvel will bring the epic energy of its iconic Super Hero characters to the event. From the car park to the finish line, Marvel storytelling and exciting touches will help participants unleash their inner Super Hero, adding even more fun to this competitive family event. Everything from giant LEGO® models of Thor’s Hammer, to Captain America’s shield and the Infinity Gauntlet, to inspirational quotes from Super Hero favourites including Captain Marvel and Spider-Man, will help make the participants feel like a true Super Hero.

Meanwhile, performers from Marvel Universe LIVE will lead the participants’ “Power Up” session before the race begins. Marvel Universe LIVE is a live-action arena spectacular featuring more than 25 of the most popular Marvel Super Heroes and Villains, which will be performing in nine cities across the UK, beginning 18th September.

As well as 18 waves of participants racing throughout the day, there will also be a ‘celebrity race’ for members of the public who have won the chance to unite with high-profile Celebrity Team Captains from TV and sport. This year’s event will see celebrities including DJ and journalist Jordan Jarrett-Bryan; Paralympic equestrian champion Sophie Christiansen; Invictus Games athlete, JJ Chalmers; Paralympian and Wimbledon doubles champion, Alfie Hewett; and eight-time London Marathon winner and six-time Paralympic champion, David Weir, lead competition winners in their very own teams as they complete the course.  

Marvel’s sponsorship for the Superhero Series forms part of Marvel and Disney UK’s wider Healthy Living initiative, which uses the power of popular characters to inspire children and families to be more active. Marianthi O’Dwyer, Vice President, Healthy Living UK at The Walt Disney Company: “There are more than 13 million people with disabilities in the UK, but only around one in eight regularly take part in sport*. The Superhero Series aims to reduce barriers to entry into disabled sport, offering a great opportunity for families in the disabled community across the country to come together, get active and most of all, have fun. Marvel stories are all about ordinary humans finding their inner power, so we’re delighted to play a role in this year’s event and help make the day even more epic and inspiring for everyone involved.”

The Superhero Series is founded and run by Paralympian, Sophia Warner, who has been involved in disability sport for more than 25 years. Speaking of her reasons for launching the series, Sophia says: “I know first-hand what a hugely positive impact sport can have on a person’s life. I believe everyone should have the chance to enjoy momentous and often life-changing sporting events. That’s why when I retired from professional sport, I created the Superhero Series – sporting events designed especially for people with disabilities.

“I’m thrilled to have Marvel on board as our headline sponsor for the Superhero Tri – having the support of such an iconic brand elevates the profile and importance of disability sport for the masses to a whole new level. I know the participants will feel inspired to dig even deeper and find their inner super power by the amazing story-telling and Marvel touches throughout the event.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to support disability sport, Channel 4 will film at the event, with Clare Balding hosting a 60-minute programme set to broadcast on 31st August.

Cerebral Palsy Sport is a charity partner and you can take part, have fun and raise funds for us at the same time!

If you wish to be part of our team and raise funds for Cerebral Palsy Sport, please email fundraising@cpsport.org or call 0115 925 7027 for an application form.

Who says? The new campaign calling time on negative perceptions

  • Who says it’s not a real sport if you have to adapt it?
  • Who says disabled people aren’t competitive?
Photo credit: Activity Alliance

A new exciting campaign from Activity Alliance is calling time on negative perceptions about disability, inclusion and sport and asks – who says?

For far too long disabled people have faced misconceptions and presumptions on what is and isn’t possible, including in sport. Leading national charity, Activity Alliance, wants to move the conversations on, open people’s minds and shift out-dated views on disability. Who says? gives positive evidence that replaces these negative ideas.

Launched on 15 July, who says? was created in response to the charity’s recent research, which explored non-disabled people’s attitudes on inclusive activity. The findings show a lack of understanding could be causing long-lasting barriers for disabled people, leading to inactivity. For the least active audience in our country, people’s attitudes can make or break activity experiences.

Who says we can’t break down barriers?

In reality, disabled people have countless personal experiences that lead to marginalisation, low confidence and inactivity.

Who says? empowers people, on and off the field of play, to challenge their own and others’ perceptions. But, here are some facts that need serious consideration:

  • Disabled people are twice as likely to be physically inactive as non-disabled people. Although we saw an increase recently, the number of active disabled people remains resistant to growth. [i]
  • The main barriers to being active are psychological, logistical and physical, with psychological the most influential. This is, disabled people’s personal impression of sport and non-disabled people’s attitudes about disabled people playing sport.[ii]
  • Two thirds (64 per cent) of disabled people would prefer to take part in sport with both disabled and non-disabled people, currently only half (51 per cent) are doing so. [iii]
  • Research shows almost half of disabled people fear losing their benefits if they are seen to be physically active.[iv] 
  • Only 14 per cent of non-disabled people are aware of having previously taken part in sport with disabled people. But three quarters (73%) of non-disabled people were open to the idea. [v]

To kick it off, the campaign films challenge six findings from the research. The films provide upbeat insight with a mixture of disabled and non-disabled people. They share their own experiences and feelings on these six statements:

  1. It’s not a real sport if you have to adapt it
  2. Disabled people aren’t competitive
  3. Watch what you say around disabled people
  4. Disabled people don’t want to join in
  5. Disabled people might get hurt
  6. Everyone can’t take part together

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for Activity Alliance, said:

“Negative experiences should not be allowed to continually shape disabled people’s lives. This campaign aims to replace misconceptions with reality. If we truly want everybody to benefit from being active, then we need to call time on negative perceptions. The positive messages in our campaign provide a fresh and authentic view of the sports world. We are asking you to join us in creating a movement built solidly on equality, freedom and choice.” 

Adam Blaze, Sport England’s Strategic Lead for Disability, said:

“We are delighted to see the launch of the Who Says campaign which will challenge negative-perceptions disabled people face when getting active while encouraging people of all abilities to get active together. Views that disabled people don’t want to join in, might get hurt or that everyone can’t take part together are just some of the perceptions that prevent disabled people from being active. The campaign tackles these myths head on showing that we can all do more to break down the barriers and challenge negative perceptions facing disabled people wanting to get involved in sport and physical activity.”

Who says you can’t be part of the movement?

The first campaign phase will run for six weeks over summer. Whilst the who says? movement begins, we are calling for you to get involved in the campaign by posting your own experiences using #WhoSays. Share our films and make your own to add your voice to the campaign.  

Tell us your who says? You could be a disabled person who has challenged someone’s attitude whilst being active. Your organisation wants to share positive stories. Or your company plans to use the campaign to release new funding focused on inclusion.

Beyond the hashtag

Taking the conversation beyond the #WhoSays hashtag is important to us. It’s crucial we talk honestly and openly about matters that affect disabled people’s activity, like policy, funding and promotion. We hope the campaign leads to bigger conversations, greater collaboration and wider systemic responses.

If your organisation would like to get involved and you have a great idea for the campaign, please contact news@activityalliance.org.uk or call 0161 228 2868.

We can’t challenge perceptions and change the reality of disability, inclusion and sport. Who says?!

Watch the perception collection here [Live on 15 July].

Find out more www.activityalliance.org.uk/whosays [Live on 15 July]

[i] Sport England Active Lives Survey

[ii] Activity Alliance Lifestyle Report

[iii] Activity Alliance Lifestyle Report

[iv] Activity Alliance The Activity Trap

[v] Activity Alliance Taking Part with Disabled People

CP National League players represent England in IFCPF World Cup

Members of the CP National league are out in force at the IFCPF World Cup in Seville, Spain.

Kicking off their campaign in style, England have defeated Germany today by 5-2 in the first of their group matches.

A number of the England squad play in the National CP League, a league that provides players a national competition structure. On the squad is CP North West player George Fletcher, as well as Martin Sinclair, Cerebral Palsy Sport Ambassador.

George Fletcher at the FA Disability Cup with Cerebral Palsy Sport Trustee Paul Hermann

Find all the latest news and results from the IFCPF here. England will play Japan on Wednesday 10th July and Brazil on Friday 12th July.

The CP National league is split into 2 divisions, North and South and fixtures will take place at central venues. The league will start again soon If you would like to find your nearest team or would like more information on the league please contact Rich Kerr Richard.kerr@cpsport.org

Cerebral Palsy Sport announce new swimming partnership

Cerebral Palsy Sport is delighted to announce a new partnership with the The Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA).

The STA is an international award-winning charity working towards the objective of preserving human life by the teaching of swimming, lifesaving and survival techniques. Cerebral Palsy Sport will be working with the STA on projects to raise the profile on the importance of learning to swim and disability swimming.

2019 Learn to Swim week took place from 13th – 19th May 2019. This initiative is designed by the STA to promote the importance of learning to swim which is a life-saving skill. Cerebral Palsy Sport were proud to support the campaign this year by helping promote their message and share important content and information.

Jen Basford, National Sports Development Officer at Cerebral Palsy Sport, said,

“I have seen first-hand the brilliant work the STA do and how much of a positive impact they have in swimming. Their message for saving lives through learning to swim is extremely important and they offer support for any ability.”


Leanne Dougliss, Head of Sales at the STA, said,

“We are extremely proud of our partnership with CP Sport. We look forward to working with them over the coming months to share expertise and knowledge, as part of our aim of giving people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to learn how to swim.”

The STA offer swimming awards, qualifications and CPDs in the following areas:

  • Safety Training Awards
  • Swimming Teaching
  • Lifesaving
  • First Aid
  • Pool Plant
  • Health and Safety
  • Tutor Status
  • Education

Find out more about the STA on their website here: https://www.sta.co.uk/

Find out more information about our partnership work here: http://www.cpsport.org/partnerships-matter/corporate-partnerships/

The STA are supporting promotion of the Cerebral Palsy Sport swimming programme such as Development Galas, National Championships and SwimStarts. You can find out more about our swimming opportunities here: http://www.cpsport.org/sports/swimming/

World Records for RaceRunners at CP Sport event

At the Cerebral Palsy Sport Athletics Series in York on Saturday 15th June World Records were achieved by Rafeek Solaiman, for the Senior RR3 Male 200m and Thomas Talbot, for the Under 16 Male RR2 1500m.

Rafi, 19 from City of Sheffield and Dearn AC coached by Phil Fleetwood, broke the previous record of 38.15 seconds held by Gavin Drysdale, setting of new time of 35.99 seconds. Thomas, 15, from Lincoln Wellington AC coached by Lee Troop, established a new World Record of 7.15.35 minutes , the first RR2 U16 to set this record .

Rafi Solaiman
Thomas Talbot

It was the third event in the Cerebral Palsy Sports Athletics Series this season and a full programme with many races on the track, both in Ambulant and RaceRunning events. The field programme saw the largest range of events this season. There was tremendous support from family and friends for all the competitors and provided a great atmosphere for the event.

RaceRunning is a fast growing sport, and is being included at the highest levels of competition globally and is now part of the Paralympic pathway. Cerebral Palsy Sport provide opportunities in the sport from grassroots to competitive level.

Both Rafi and Thomas represented Team CP England at the CPISRA World Games in Barcelona in 2018 and regularly compete in Cerebral Palsy Sport athletics events and the British Athletics Parallel Success events.

After establishing the World Record Thomas said;

“I’m really pleased to have created a new World Record for the Under 16 Male RR2 RaceRunning 1500m event.  RaceRunning has given me so much and it was a hard race but I’m so happy. I have not done this alone so a big thank you to my all family, my club Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club, my coach Lee Troop, to CP Sport for providing such great events and to the many supporters who have helped me so much since I took up RaceRunning. Congratulations also to Rafi who also broke the Senior RR3 Male 200m world record. What a day for our RaceRunners! ”

Rafi added;

“Racerunning has filled in the empty space in my life. It has made me new friends and got me to places and milestones that were once unthinkable”

The last event of the Athletics series this season is in Derby at Moorways Stadium on Saturday 10th August and we will be finishing off the season with our National Championships in Doncaster on Saturday 21 September. Spectators are welcome.

Find out more about the Cerebral Palsy Sport athletics programme here or contact Cerebral Palsy Sport’s Athletics officer: Adi.fawcett@cpsport.org