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Manchester ready to launch Let’s Play!

As the world marks just over 530 days to go until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Manchester will play host to the launch of Let’s Play, an exciting new programme offering people with a disability the opportunity to try a range of sports in a welcoming environment where the support goes beyond the action.

The focus firmly on the chance to try new activities and meet new friends, Wednesday 25th March will see the Lucozade Powerleague Trafford Soccerdome hold the first of the Let’s Play programme’s 12 one-day multi-sport events taking place across the country this year.

With local clubs also in attendance, each free event will not only offer participants the chance to learn the basics of the activities and experience a game, but to build a connection with their nearby sporting outlet.

Funded by £148,140 of National Lottery funding from Sport England as part of a larger programme that aims to rectify the disparity between the number of disabled and non-disabled people participating in sport, Let’s Play is spearheaded by British Wheelchair Basketball in partnership with Boccia England, GB Wheelchair Rugby, Goalball, Powerchair Football, and the Tennis Foundation – offering participants a wealth of expertise.

Indeed, those attending the Manchester event will also have the chance to hear from some of nation’s leading sports stars – including Flixton’s Jordanna Bartlett who assisted the GB Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team to silver at the Osaka Cup in Japan earlier this year.

In addition to elite athletes and local clubs, also joining participants at many of the regional Let’s Play events will be Choice Unlimited, a unique roadshow offering invaluable advice and support on independent living.

Charlie Bethel, Chief Executive Officer of British Wheelchair Basketball, said: “This programme will empower local communities and groups that have never previously been engaged through the sporting landscape. It will provide more people from hard to reach communities the opportunity to take part and play sport in an enjoyable environment. It meets more than just a sporting agenda; at its core it promotes partnership across sports, community groups and health. We all believe this will have a positive impact on people with a disability at a real local level.”

Sport England Chair, Nick Bitel, said: “We are constantly striving to get more disabled people involved in sport, making it a practical lifestyle choice. Our investment into British Wheelchair Basketball, working in partnership with five other disability sport governing bodies for the Let’s Play programme will provide disabled people with the opportunity to take part in a range of sports and find the ones that interest them most, hopefully leading them to play sport regularly.”

You can find out more about this event at www.letsplay-it.co.uk or you can contact Let’s Play: