Positive views on Paralympic legacy
NEW research suggests many disabled people have been inspired to take up sport as a direct result of the 2012 Paralympic Games.
A survey of 1,100 disabled people, conducted for the UK charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, revealed almost half have been inspired to get more involved with sport or exercise.
The London Games featured two Paralympians from the Grimsby area – Jamie Carter, pictured, and Hollie Arnold.
Carter, who lives in Binbrook, is a member of Cleethorpes AC, trains at Grimsby's King George V Stadium and is a student at the Grimsby Institute, competed in the wheelchair racing events.
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Arnold – who is originally from Holton-le-Clay, went to school in Louth and was also a member of Clee AC – just missed out on a medal in the javelin.
The duo – along with their fellow Team GB members – certainly seem to be inspiring a new generation of talent.
Of those questioned in the survey, 89 per cent felt the Games would leave a positive legacy.
Over half thought the Games would result in a positive change in non-disabled peoples' attitudes.
A quarter said they thought the Paralympics would encourage more disabled people to take part in sport and 12 per cent said it would lead to improved accessibility.
Less than 11 per cent thought the Games would have no positive impact at all.
The survey also found that over a third confessed to "never" taking part in sport or exercise before the Paralympics. Of those, 36 per cent now say they have been inspired to get active and get involved in sport.
Alick Miskin, Grass Roots Diversity Services Director, said: "This survey shows a shift in attitude and it's now up to non-disabled people, and customer-facing employees in particular, to adjust to this change.
"So many facilities and services are made difficult for disabled people not just by inaccessible buildings and sports equipment, but by the 'can't do' attitude of staff.
"Serving and working with disabled people is often considered to be difficult but it is very straightforward – often it's just about being helpful and asking them what they need.
"Employers can help facilitate this way of thinking by making staff aware of how best to interact with disabled customers."
Want to get involved in disability sport locally? Give the North East Lincolnshire Disability Sports Forum a try. For more information, contact Colin Woodford on (01472) 505230. The Forum meets regularly at Clee Sports Hall, off Ladysmith Road, Grimsby.