London inclusive cycling charity Wheels for Wellbeing is celebrating the award of a grant of almost £500,000 from Sport England which will allow it and other organisations in the capital develop a Paralympic legacy that will help even more disabled people enjoy cycling.
Wheels for Wellbeing, which bid for the money alongside Bikeworks, Ecolocal and Pedal Power, all of which are experienced in providing inclusive cycling, says the money will help fund additional sessions over the next three years at venues including Herne Hill Velodrome.
The charity’s director, Isabelle Clement, commented: “This money comes at the perfect time. Demand is now so high we’re overstretched and these resources will help us provide support to all those who’ve been excited and interested for the Paralympics.
“This year has been a turning point for many people starting to take up sport – and cycling in particular. We’re delighted to build on the great legacy inspired by the incredible feats of gold medallist Paralympians like Sarah Storey and Anthony Kappes.”
The money is part of £10.2 million funding announced by Sport England this week under its Inclusive Sport initiative, and which will go to 44 organisations around the country.
At the announcement of which organiations would receive money, made at Mile End Leisure Centre and Stadium, multiple Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said: “This funding will go a long way to helping those inspired by the outstanding performances of our Paralympians this summer to get out and try sport for themselves.
"It’s fantastic to see such a wide range of organisations benefitting – all of them focused on helping more disabled people to discover how much sport has to offer.”
The funding is designed to narrow the gap in sports participation between disabled adults, one in six of whom do so regularly, and non-disabled people, one in three of whom do so.
Among the other initiatives to receive funding is Together East, a consortium including five Olympic host boroughs, which will promote a variety of sports leading to an annual festival of disability sport at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation which led that bid, said: “We are delighted that the Inclusive Sport fund will help East London to build on the most successful Paralympics in the history of the Games.
“Thousands of people will be inspired to get involved in sport in and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and we want to make sure there are opportunities for everyone.
“Together with our partners, we are matching the funding from Sport England so that Together East will channel over a million pounds into sport for disabled people. With accessible venues on the Park and an annual festival of disability sport from 2013, there is a huge opportunity to leave a lasting legacy.”
You can find a full list of the projects to have received funding here.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.