Former CP Sport employee Margaret Smith awarded MBE

Congratulations to former CP Sport employee Margaret Smith, who has been awarded an MBE.

Margaret, who has been involved in disability bowls for more than 25 years has had significant and influential roles that have had worldwide impact.

During her employment at CP Sport Margaret covered all sports and activities but also carried out a number of voluntary roles in the sport of bowls from running training sessions to organising major competitions and travelling with teams to events internationally.

In 1995 Margaret was the coach and escort to the GB Team at the IPC World Championships, Aylesbury, England.  One of the squad members became World Champion and in 1996 she was the team manager to the Paralympic GB Bowls Team at the Atlanta Paralympic Games.  The team took 6 out of 7 medals. In 1997 Margaret become appointed CPISRA Bowls Co-ordinator and Bowls Co-ordinator, British Paralympic Association Bowls Committee and continued to work with teams on an international level at commonwealth Games and Paralympic Games.

In 2000 Margaret produced the World Class Performance Plan on behalf of disability bowls as part of a successful bid by the English Bowling Association for Lottery Funding from Sport England. She initiated combined training sessions of cerebral palsy bowlers and other disability groups.

In 2004 Margaret was an elected member of Executive of Disability World Bowls formed in Malaysia in 2004.  She was a working group member for devising a newly defined structure of classification, a sports specific classification system consisting of eight classification groups. In 2005 she became Executive member of Disability Bowls England (formed to unify and represent bowlers from all impairment groups).

Between 2009 and present day Margaret has been an active member within the international movement and also current Member of IBD and Executive Member of Disability Bowls England.

Margaret says her greatest achievements include seeing bowlers with disability integrated into and accepted by clubs both indoors and out.

She said: “For many years this wasn’t the case.

“Another great moment was being part of the support/coach team for the GB Bowls Squad in the Paralympic Games in Atlanta in 1996.  We brought back six of the seven Gold medals, three silver and two bronze. 

“Sadly, when the team went out there to compete we knew this would be the last time bowls would be included in the Paralympics.”

In England, she has been responsible for getting the different disability specific sports groups to bring together their bowls squads to form Disability Bowls England, initially for communication, training and competition purposes both at a domestic and international level.

Margaret said: “There have been many things I have done which I would never would have imagined I would do when I first started out. I am not an academic person but, I am a ‘DOER’ and bowlers used to say to me , ‘We have never done’ whatever and I would reply, ‘okay, let’s do it’ and that’s always been my philosophy ‘ If it’s needed and not happening , then make it happen.’”

Margaret has always loved sport, competing in netball and athletics at school while her husband loved cricket, before taking up Bowls after a knee injury and became an integral part of the history of Gedling IBC.

“A couple of years after that I noticed a group of bowlers with cerebral palsy playing and offered to help push wheelchairs etc. “At that time, we had to put sheets of hardboard down for the wheelchairs to stand on whilst they delivered the bowls, there were no ‘special’ bowling chairs with broad wheels. 

“We had to take the bowlers off the green, wheel along the side and then back on to the boards at the other end. 

“This group used to come to Gedling three or four times a year to get together as CP Sport main office was based in Nottingham and all of the sports groups would come along to train, athletics, football, boccia, swimming and bowls.

“This was the beginning for me!

“Bowls is the most inclusive sport that I can think of. Anyone can play.

“You can compete with and against anyone irrelevant of age, gender and disability, you can play at any level depending on your ability. It’s a great social pastime and played by usually, lovely people!

“Bowls is good for mind and body and social interaction.

“The fact that disability bowls is seen to be worthy of such an award as this should endorse this as a ‘Sport for All’ and hopefully, bowls participation will grow.

Disability Bowls England adopted Gedling as their home ground. 

Bob Love, who put in the application for the MBE for Margaret, said: “Maggy has been organiser, fundraiser and administrator for many competitions regionally, nationally and internationally. 

“She fights hard to ensure that opportunities exist for all, irrespective of impairment, individual circumstances and backgrounds and she will never settle for second best. She is one of the most respected people and this award is proof of her never ending commitment to this great sport of ours.”

CP Sport partner with Sporting Equals

As part of the CP Sport new strategy to be launched for 2021 the National Disability Sports Organisation will be working with Sporting Equals as Charter Partners.   

Sporting Equals is the leading UK ‘thinktank’ for research into Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities and sport, and has over 20 years of experience in delivering high-quality bespoke research to both the public and private sector. Sporting Equals have worked with a range of partners developing its expertise and understanding, including Sport England and UK Sport. Their research highlights that people from BAME communities still encounter significant disparities across the sport and physical activity sector. 

The three primary aims of Sport Equals are to 1) To raise awareness and understanding of the needs of BAME communities, within the sports and health sector, in order to change attitudes and increase participation in sport and physical activity 2) To empower individuals and communities to play a part in this change, and achieve their full potential through playing sport and being active 3) To advise and support policy-makers and delivery bodies to be inclusive of all under-represented groups, drawing on our experience with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. 

CP Sport will be developing training and education programmes to support building our workforce community.  We will be learning about and developing partnerships with their Associate Members (community organisations), as well as raising awareness of cerebral palsy with Sporting Equals and their members.  

Adi Fawcett CP Sport COO said,

“Our project work with Sporting Equals will be a key focus of our new strategy, enabling us to reach a diverse range of communities and work with them to provide increased capability and opportunity for people with cp to be physically active.  I am proud to be leading CP Sport into an important partnership with Sporting Equals and look forward to collaborating with new communities, clubs and organisations.” 

If you are a coach or organisation interested in being involved in our work with Sporting Equals or if you are part of the BAME community and want to share your personal experiences in sport please contact adi.fawcett@cpsport.org

CP Sport launches time challenge on World CP Day

All around the world, people and communities have had to adapt to big changes caused by COVID-19. World CP Day this year celebrates the fact that people with cp are often experts at dealing with change, breaking down barriers, and coming up with creative solutions in their daily lives. The day also recognises the importance and benefits of sport and physical activity on the quality of life for people with cerebral palsy by encouraging the community to Move As One at 1pm on 6th October.

Physical activity is vital for people with a physical impairment as it improves mobility, supports mental health and reduces the risks of developing other long term conditions. Being part of a community also has a positive impact on mental health and this is especially important for individuals who are self-isolating and shielding. 

Due to the implications of COVID-19 on disabled people and their families, the Virtual Challenge Series was developed by CP Sport and delivered in partnership with LimbPower to provide a virtual but social event to encourage physical activity close to or at home.

There are three consecutive participation events in the series each with a different theme, CP Sport and LimbPower are running the challenges in parallel. 

Challenge one was Distance and ran from the 15th August to 15th September 2020

Challenge two is Time and runs from the 15th October to 15th November 2020

Challenge three is Numbers and runs from 15th December 2020 to 15th January 2021

To mark World CP Day, challenge 2 of the Virtual Challenge Series Time, has officially launched and entries are now open. Participants set their own targets based on the theme of time for example how far they might travel in a set amount of time over the month.

Throughout the Virtual Challenge Series entrants are given access to exclusive interactive workshops with expert coaches and presenters, ongoing support from CP Sport and LimbPower, and can be part of a virtual social community through the dedicated Facebook group. On completion of each challenge participants receive certificates, medals and t-shirts.

Challenge 1, Distance, concluded on September 15th and 50 participants set their own targets, from taking 15 steps for the first time to swimming the equivalent of the English Channel. The full results can be found here

Comments from participants of Challenge 1:

“It has been a massive boost for me to get going with this. My sport has always had a massive impact on my mental health which has really suffered these last few months. In mind of that I’m setting myself tough challenges to challenge myself.”

“Loving this challenge, really made me get active!”

“This challenge has really improved my strength and stamina.”

“It’s pretty invigorating, I love this challenge.”

Entries are open for Challenge 2. The registration fee for one challenge is £12.50 (£10 for members of CP Sport or LimbPower). Participants can book online via Go Membership for CP Sport and Eventbrite for LimbPower.

To find out more about the Virtual Challenge Series or to get involved contact Jen Basford (CP Sport) at jennifer.basford@cpsport.org or Mob 07955 119 018 or Carly Bauert (LimbPower) at carly@limbpower.com or Telephone 07789 075709.

CP Sport will also be celebrating World CP Day though the #CPMoveAsOne global movement, Make Your Mark achievements and through a virtual social cafe in partnership with CP Teens UK. Find all the details here.

For infographs and information please take a look at our resources.

CP Sport Ambassador makes marathon history

CP Sport Young Sporting Ambassador Matthew Humphreys has become the first person to use a RaceRunner to complete the London Marathon.

Due to COVID-19, the 40th race took place virtually and Matt chose to complete his course at Holme Pierrepont in Nottinghamshire.

Matt has represented England twice in the Cerebral Palsy World Games – in Nottingham in 2015 and San Cugat Spain in 2018 where he won the 400m RaceRunning gold medal.  He has also been part of the BBC Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge team.

He completed the equivalent of the London Marathon course (26.2 miles) around Holme Pierrepont in Nottinghamshire in 4.34.46.

“The hardest bit was running into the wind for half the course,” Matt said. “You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.”

Matt was taking part in the London Marathon this year to raise money for Scope.

Find out more about RaceRunning here

How to hire a RaceRunner here

CP Sport Ambassador will be the first to RaceRun the London Marathon

CP Sport Young Sporting Ambassador Matthew Humphreys will be the first person to use a RaceRunner to take part in the London Marathon.

Regular RaceRunning competitor Matt has already taken part in other long distance participation events but this will be a first time in the London Marathon.

Due to COVID-19, the 40th race is virtual so people will be able to participate in their own space.

Matt has represented England twice in the Cerebral Palsy World Games – in Nottingham in 2015 and San Cugat Spain in 2018 where he won the 400m RaceRunning gold medal.  He has also been part of the BBC Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge team.

Matt is taking part in the London Marathon this year on behalf of Scope.

Two CP Sport fundraisers are also taking part in the virtual marathon, Kirsty Fairclough and Jordan Crookes. We are incredibly proud of their hard work and fundraising efforts for CP Sport.

Helping us to make a difference to so many people with cp.

‘Rule of 6’ exemption for disabled participants

25th September 2020 – Sport England update

The government has made the decision that those aged 18 and over will need to adhere to the ‘rule of 6’ if they are playing indoor team sports.

The government stated that there is an exemption for disabled participants.

The exemption is to help disabled people stay active. As we know, not allowing indoor sport would have a disproportionate impact on disabled people, as a significant proportion of team sport for disabled people takes place in indoor settings. We know that disabled people face more barriers to participating in sport and physical activity, so it is vital we do as much as possible to keep these opportunities accessible.

However, we must ensure that this is done safely. We know that a large proportion of disabled people are more likely to feel worried and anxious about returning to sport and physical activity in the risk of contracting coronavirus.

DCMS and Sport England will work with NGBs who provide indoor team sport to ensure that their current guidance reflects the ‘rule of 6’ restrictions or is updated, if needed, to set out how more than 6 disabled people can participate in team sport in a safe way which encourages social distancing.

Please see updated FAQ below for any additional questions you may have.

If you would like additional support in updating your guidance to reflect the exemption please contact Sport England return to play inbox (returntoplay@sportengland.org)

Updated FAQ

Why are disabled people exempt from the restrictions around indoor team sports for adults?

The exemption is to help disabled people to stay active. Not allowing indoor sport would have a disproportionate impact on disabled people, as a significant proportion of team sport for disabled people takes place in indoor settings. We know that disabled people face more barriers to participating in sport and physical activity, so it is vital we do as much as possible to keep these opportunities accessible. 

Does this exemption put disabled people at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19?

Indoor team sport provision can only take place where it follows the government’s guidance on recreational team sport and grassroots sport and leisure activity, and this includes team sports for disabled people. NGBs which provide sport formats for disabled people will set out how they can deliver this provision in line with existing guidance on social distancing and Covid-secure measures. The exemption only affects the number of people who can be involved in the sport where this is necessary for the sport to take place. 

How can participants be reassured that an indoor team sport activity for more than 6 disabled people will be delivered in a socially distanced Covid-19 secure environment?

All sport providers and venue operators are already operating in line with the government’s guidance on recreational team sport and grassroots sport and leisure activity. DCMS and Sport England will work with National Governing Bodies which provide indoor team sport to ensure that their current guidance reflects the ‘rule of 6’ restrictions or is updated, if needed, to set out that more than 6 disabled people can participate in team sport in a safe way which encourages social distancing.

Can non-disabled people take part in indoor team sports alongside disabled people?  

The exemption only applies to disabled people. If non-disabled people take part in indoor team sport, this exemption no longer applies. Indoor team sports which include non-disabled people participating alongside disabled people should only take place in groups of up to six people.

Where disabled people need support from a carer or personal assistant during activity, will this be allowed?

Yes. People who provide essential support (e.g. carers) to disabled people are exempt, and do not count towards the six people in a group (where the rule of six applies). Other people present are unlikely to be exempt, and should follow the guidance for spectators. Spectators are only permitted in groups of up to six, and social distancing must be maintained.  

Source: Sport England

easyfundraising helps support CP Sport members

Finding the finances to support an athletes’ training and competition costs isn’t always easy. Asking people to donate money for an individual can be hard, especially now. CP Sport have developed their long standing partnership with fundraising website easyfundraising to make fundraising much simpler for individual members and at no additional cost to the person donating.

How does easyfundraising work?

It’s really simple: when family and friends use the easyfundraising website or app to shop online with 4000 leading retailers like Amazon, eBay, Just Eat, Trainline, John Lewis, Booking.com, Argos and Tesco,  the retailer they shop with sends a free donation at no extra cost.

It’s a really hassle free way to boost your funds – family, friends shop online already anyway and with easyfundraising, you can turn that shopping into much needed cash for you.

Over £4million has been raised by sports clubs and athletes who are already using easyfundraising and using it to fund equipment, training and competition costs and more.

To join them, simply register as a good cause with easyfundraising – it’s completely free to register and use and only takes two minutes to get started. The offer is only open to members of CP Sport currently.

Only these members will be emailed with the link to sign up if they wish to or click here: To join them, simply register as a good cause with easyfundraising. It only takes a few minutes to get started: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/cerebral-palsy-sport .

Membership information and how to join can be found here.

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If you are a paid members and haven’t received an email by end of day 16/9/20 with the link then please contact membership@cpsport.org if you would like it.

UK Coaching Week 2020

As part of UK Coaching Week 2020 (14th – 20th September), we are putting the spotlight on the coaches who are supporting one of our current events, the Virtual Challenge Series.

As part of this event, which CP Sport are running in parallel with LimbPower, participants are invited to attend free live workshops where expert coaches are providing support and advice on setting goals, and taking on different types of challenges.

There are 3 challenges, Distance, Time and Numbers each lasting a month and concluding in January 2021. Entries for challenge 2 and 3 are open and more detail can be found here. Participants do not have to take part in all 3 challenges so it is not too late to enter.

Paul Greenwood – Virtual Challenge Series coach

Paul is an ex Rugby League player, and has coached Frame Football, Race Running, and Athletics

He is a Talent Programme Manager for the Jersey Sport Foundation and is works with a squad of Performance Athletes (athlete services include S&C, Sports Nutrition, Psychology, Education & Lifestyle) across a wide range of sports who are all targeting National, European, World Championships including Commonwealth Games and Olympic/Paralympics.

Paul got involved in the VCS after attending the virtual cafes for all CP Sport coaches and volunteers where we outlined the plans for the event.

Paul recently hosted a workshop as part of Challenge 1, Distance and this is what he had to say on the experience,

“Its always the case that I get blown away by the sheer determination of the athletes whenever they set themselves a challenge. I work with young performance athletes on a daily basis and always stand up the enthusiasm and dedication that I see on the virtual coaching sessions as a benchmark to follow.

As a coach the questions presented on me from the VCS are always directly corresponding with the Athletes chosen challenge which shows that drive to want to find ways to improve performance or simply to be able to keep doing that challenge for longer.

Under current restrictions athletes are having to work independently but the VCS gives that opportunity to come together, share success stories but also pull together as a group to help individuals get through any particular challenge. I would highly recommend any VCS as a source of inspiration, sporting endeavour and most importantly a good bit of fun for an hour or two.”

Coaches are an important part of the CP Sport workforce all year round and all across the country. CP Sport COO said,

“Coaching Week is an important week for CP Sport to be involved with to highlight the ongoing work undertaken by coaches, not just at our events but also day to day in their local community.  Coaches provide the support, the guidance and expertise and they are an invaluable part of our workforce.  Coaches are so important in helping us provide great opportunities for people to try new sports or regular sessions at their local club.  It cannot be underestimated the role a coach plays in someone’s personal experience of sport and physical activity. 

Here at CP Sport we are committed to supporting coaches and their work and currently working towards providing support and opportunities for coaches interested in working with our community.  Our aspiration is that our coaches feel they are part of the team, they belong to our community and we are all working toward a shared aim.   

Thank you coaches for everything you do and the support you continue to provide to us and our community.”

CP Sport have also launched its Coach Membership. It is free for coaches to register and as a member, coaches will have access to courses and training plans from educational hub BelievePerform which can help their development and those they support.

Coaches who join CP Sport this week will get free access to the following BelievePerform courses:

How sport coaches can look after their mental health – This course has been designed to help improve coaches knowledge around mental health and to support them to apply practical strategies to enhance their psychological toolbox.·      

How to Effectively Set Goals – This training plan gives you a template to start setting great goals

Contact CP Sport: info@cpsport.org

Find out more about UK Coaching Week here

CP Sport and Quest launch pilot rental service

CP Sport in partnership with design and manufacturing company Quest have launched a brand new pilot rental service to support people with cerebral palsy and associated impairments. The equipment available to hire will help to enable individuals of all ages and abilities to participate in sport and recreational activity.

There are a range of GameFrames to rent which are used for playing Frame Football and for RaceRunning Frames which provide support assistance for users to be upright and walk or run.

Adapted sports have had recent increase in popularity with more Frame Football and RaceRunning clubs developing across the country.  RaceRunning has seen a big increase in interest since being included on the World Para Athletics programme in 2018.

Quest has over 30 years of experience in the design, manufacture and sourcing of activity based therapy products for children and adults. Quest began manufacturing tricycles for children with Cerebral Palsy in 1991 and have developed and introduced additional products and accessories over time.

Frame Football is an adapted format of football for those who use a frame or walker. GameFrames are more mobile than a frame and enhance player experience. Frame Football is growing and proving very popular, with a number of affiliated clubs running sessions. CP Sport are working with the FA and partners to further support the future development of the sport.

RaceRunning is an adapted sport for those who cannot functionally run and rely on sports aids for mobility and balance. The RaceRunning frame supports the user to be in an upright position and supported by the 3 wheel frame design. RaceRunning provides opportunities to experience running, jogging or walking activity. RaceRunning is an official recognised discipline in Athletics, and features within all CP Sport Athletic events.

Hire is for a minimum of three months. Quest will arrange to deliver each frame, and assist with setting up, and give practical advice in regards to this. Accessories will be provided as well as a 1-2-1 coaching session.

Adi Fawcett, Cerebral Palsy Sport Chief Operating Officer, said:

“This is an exciting pilot programme for us at CP Sport and an opportunity for us to learn how we can develop our services and activities for the benefit of our beneficiaries.  The service will enable us to take sport to our community and overcome the barrier of access to equipment for individual and provide support through one to one coaching sessions.  Our aspiration during this challenging time is to enable as many people as possible to get moving, be active and have some fun being physical.”

Tom Henshaw, Commercial Manager at Quest, said:

“With access to all-important club activities and events now being severely limited due to COVID-19, we’ve been actively searching for new and innovative ways to support the continued rehabilitation and supported activity that CP Sport embodies. The rental service is a safe way for children and adults alike to explore their potential for movement, at their own pace, in their own home, but fully supported by both Quest and CP Sport.”

The cost of the service: RaceRunners – £30 non-member, £15 member per month. Frame Football Frame – £20 non-member,£10 member per month

Access the booking form here

For further enquiries please contact CP Sport – jennifer.basford@cpsport.org 07955 119 018 or Richard.kerr@cpsport.org 07762 739926

Visit the Quest website here: https://quest88.com/

NDSO Collective Response to COVID-19

The seven National Disability Sports Organisations (NDSOs), have released a handy resource to inform sports providers about our collective response to keeping our community active and reaching hard to reach inactive disabled people through online and virtual opportunities. Review the exciting ways we are reaching more deaf and disabled people during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.

Like many organisations supporting people to get active our NDSO delivery programmes are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We have created this resource so that sports organisations and providers are aware of the support we are offering disabled community members through a range of fantastic programmes and resources. By working collectively we can reach and support more disabled people.

We, the NDSOs are mindful that many deaf and disabled people may require more support right now as many of our community members are at risk or shielding. We want to encourage disabled people to remain active and have adapted our programmes and delivery methods to meet this need and the changing environment.

To support Sport England’s #StayInWorkOut campaign, we have individually and collectively looked at delivery methods to reach and support disabled people in their homes though sports specific resources, online classes, live exercise sessions and pre-recorded exercise sessions, virtual challenges and online chats and Q and A zoom calls.

The resource can be found here

About the seven NDSOs

The seven National Disability Sports Organisations (NDSOs) are a good starting point for many disabled people who want to be more active. NDSOs provide advice, support and opportunities for people of all ages with specific impairments.

The seven NDSOs have formed a partnership group, which brings in other leading organisations to support one another and the wider sector. It helps to guide their collaborative planning and thinking.

The National Disability Sports and Physical Activity Network continues to meet and discuss key matters on engaging more Deaf and disabled people into sport. It provides a forum for National Governing Bodies of sport and partners to share their work too. This group meets quarterly and is currently chaired by Valerie Copenhagen (UK Deaf Sport Executive Director) and Andy Brittles (LimbPower Sports Development Officer).

The seven NDSOs are:

British Blind Sport

Cerebral Palsy Sport W: www.cpsport.org T:@CP_Sport
 

Dwarf Sports Association UK

LimbPower W: www.limbpower.com T: @limbpower

Special Olympics Great Britain W: www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk T: SOGreatBritain F: SpecialOlympicsGB I: SpecialOlympicsGB

UK Deaf Sport

WheelPower W: wheelpower.org.uk  T: @wheelpower  F:facebook.com/wheelchairsport  I: @wheelpower_official