I agree with Sport England and EFDS recent article "Activity providers need to be more proactive in reaching disabled people" (BY MATTHEW CAMPELLI June 2016) that a drop in sports participation by disabled people is unacceptable. Disabled people are significantly disadvantaged in terms of health inequality. Ad-Lib Training are committed to the principle that everyone has the right to enjoy the health benefits bestowed by regular physical activity. We are actively involved in programmes to reduce this inequality by training young and old disabled people in the East End of London in peer influenced behaviour change encouraging disabled people to adopt a healthier and more active Lifestyle. This is the Motivate East "Para Legacy Agent" and the Tower Hamlets "Fit for All" programmes that takes place at the Bromley by Bow Centre. Robin Gargrave, Director of Ad-Lib Training wrote and developed the Level 3 Exercise an Disability qualification awarded by YMCA Awards and Ad-Lib continue to offer this qualification.
As a long term supporter of the Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) Ad-Lib Training regret the loss of funding that enabled over 1000 exercise instructors to be trained and qualified in Exercise and Disability. It is also a shame that The InstructAbility programme championed by Ad-Lib Director Denise Page when she was Director of YMCAFIT has come to an end. This programme which trained disabled people to be gym instructors had the potential to provide the fitness industry with role models and disabled leaders that could have attracted more disabled people to participate in fitness programmes. Disabled people remain significantly absent from the fitness workforce.
Despite funding cuts the IFI is still going strong. Ad Lib Training is developing a CPD training programme which will enable employers with the IFI mark or in the process of gaining it to have their instructors trained to the standard required by the IFI.
We believe that in order to encourage greater participation by disabled people in sports and physical activity all employees, employers and otherstakeholders should lobby tirelessly for strategies and programmes that have this aim to be funded implemented and supported.
By Robin Gargrave