Scottish project helping the disabled earns UK recognition – Health News Scotland


A SCOTTISH PROJECT developed to support people with disabilities in Scotland has been named as a finalist at the 2020 UK Coaching Awards.

Scottish Disability Sport’s Be Active Be Well programme, has been chosen as a finalist for the Coaching for an Active Life Award at the UK Coaching Awards.

Designed in conjunction with SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health),  the project aimed to  tackle the unique challenges facing disabled participants.

Image of participants on a fitness call - Business News Scotland
Scottish Disability Sport’s Be Active Be Well programme, was designed in conjunction with SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health)

Physical activity opportunities were available five days a week across the eight-week programme including wheelchair exercise, stretching, yoga and virtual parasports days.

Mental wellbeing sessions were offered weekly which included conversations with SAMH and sessions on how to help mindset by taking care with things like sleep and routine.

Wheelchair curler Aileen Neilson has taken part, the bronze medallist at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics said: “They’ve arranged a huge number of sessions for us to go to, it has been absolutely fantastic. It has really given people like myself a real lifeline during lockdown, a way to connect to people and help them cope.

“I’ve played a lot of sport and been active but some of the sessions we’ve had have made me stop and think about my mental health and wellbeing.”

Gavin Macleod, CEO of Scottish Disability Sport: “We have been focused on providing a safe opportunity for people to come together and connect through physical activity sessions and overall wellbeing sessions.

“We’ve had a huge age range which has been great to see, we’ve had young people up to people in their 70s.

“People have joined us from across Scotland, but we’ve also had some from England, it’s been great to be able to grow our community.”

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “This is clearly an extremely challenging time for people across the country, but particularly participants with disabilities.

“It is heartening to see this partnership between Scottish Disability Sport and SAMH have such a big impact on the lives of participants and the recognition for the programme is well deserved.”