Down’s Syndrome Association recognised as Activity Alliance Associate Member

The Down’s Syndrome Association is proud to announce its status as an Associate Member of Activity Alliance. Building on this commitment, we will work with Activity Alliance to challenge perceptions and change the reality of disability, inclusion and sport.

The Down’s Syndrome Association believes disabled people should have the same opportunities as non-disabled people to access and continue enjoying activities. The stark reality is that disabled people are twice as likely to be inactive as non-disabled people.

However, research shows that most disabled people would like to be more active and that demand is not being met. Activity Alliance’s Lifestyle Report showed seven in ten disabled people want to increase their activity level.

The Down’s Syndrome Association’s DSActive programme was set up in 2006 in response to concerns that many people with Down’s syndrome were leading very sedentary lifestyles. Research also shows that 70% of people with Down’s syndrome are overweight or obese, and only 16% of adults with Down’s syndrome are hitting the Government’s physical activity recommendations.

Since 2006, the DSActive team have worked to change this, by working with National Governing Bodies to ensure opportunities are available for people with Down’s syndrome to play sport and be active. The team do this through providing training for coaches, providing session specifically for people with Down’s syndrome, ensuring opportunities are available for people with Down’s syndrome to achieve coaching qualifications, and running festivals and events. The DSActive team are also developing a nutrition programme and supporting the leisure and fitness industry to become more inclusive.

Activity Alliance brings members, partners and disabled people together to make active lives possible. They enable organisations to support disabled people to be and stay active for life.

Founded in 1998, Activity Alliance benefits from the wealth of its Members’ expertise. In 2015, they added the Associate Membership scheme to move the charity’s vision forward and encourage more organisations to get involved. Through the Associate Membership, Activity Alliance will work with a range of leading national, regional or local organisations with the relevant experience and knowledge.

Alex Rawle from the Down’s Syndrome Association said about their new Associate Membership status:

We are delighted to be working with the Activity Alliance to ensure that opportunities are available for people with Down’s syndrome to be active, be healthy and play sport. The Down’s Syndrome Association has worked tirelessly for nearly 50 years to create the conditions that all people with Down’s syndrome need to live full and rewarding lives.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for Activity Alliance, said:

Our vision ‘disabled people are active for life’ is a powerful proposition, but for that vision to be realised, it will take a variety of influential organisations to share this goal. Our ongoing recruitment of Associate Members will benefit all of our strategies and build a bigger platform for change. That’s why we’re proud to welcome the Down’s Syndrome Association as a new Associate Member and look forward to working with them over the coming years.

As Associate Members, organisations agree to understand and utilise the Activity Alliance ten principles. The principles were borne out of the Talk to Me report and developed with disabled people. If used effectively, they can help providers to make their activities more appealing to disabled people.

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