Groundbreaking disability sports hub set for Mid Ulster

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Plans have been launched for a groundbreaking disability sports project in Mid Ulster to improve the lives of disabled people.

The centre, based at the existing Mid Ulster Sports Arena, will be run by Mid Ulster Council in conjunction with Disability Sport NI.

According to a spokesperson for Mid Ulster Council, Disability Sports NI will provide equipment to the value of £45,500 for the project.

Sports catered for will include Wheelchair Sports, Sensory Sports (partially sighted football etc), Bocce and Inclusive Cycling.

The proposal will involve an expansion of the facilities at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena.

The council, along with Disability Sport NI, will develop a two-year plan to encourage and support people with disabilities to participate in sport and active recreation through the Disability Sports Hub.

The spokesperson said the project aimed to help raise the visibility of disability sport and increase the number of people with disabilities who live active and healthy lifestyles through sport and recreation.

At this month’s meeting of the Mid Ulster Council Development Committee, the Director of Culture and Leisure also advised that work was ongoing across a range of areas which included a Parks Strategy which would look at inclusive play.

At the meeting, Councillor Niamh Doris requested an audit of Council play parks regarding the availability of

equipment for those with mental and physical disabilities.

Councillor McNamee advised that a number of years ago Cookstown Council had written to the then Minister for Agriculture regarding council acquisition of additional land for Mid Ulster Sports Arena. The councillor said that this proposal had received a positive response but had not been progressed at the time. Councillor

McNamee stated that there was great demand on the Sports Arena and proposed that the council resume discussions with DAERA on whether land would still be available for its future growth.

At the committee meeting, the chamber recommended officers work with Disability NI to develop the Memorandum of Understanding and Development Plan for provision of a Disability Sports Hub based at Mid Ulster Sports Arena for a two year period from April 2017 to March 2019.

Officers were asked to report back to seek agreement on draft documents.