Disability charity seeks Manchester Marathon runners to help as event sells out

A charity is urging people to run the Manchester Marathon to help disabled people socialise through sport and other group activities.

Activity Alliance still has a limited number of places for runners left on the April event, despite it already being sold out.

The charity, which has offices in Loughborough and Manchester, pushes for the inclusion of disabled people as a priority in sports and physical activity both locally and nationally.

Wilf Reeve, the Media & Campaigns advisor for Activity Alliance, said: “Most importantly, you would be raising money for a fantastic cause.

“As a charity we (are) a team of about 30 who work tirelessly to make physical activity and sports fairer for disabled people.

“So that (involves) trying to create more opportunities, educating people, creating programmes that are inclusive and generally working across England to give disabled people an opportunity to be active just like their non-disabled peers are able to.”

Provided by: Activity Alliance

Activity Alliance faces the same challenges as many other charities in raising awareness of their message and getting noticed.

The charity conducts annual surveys to identify the present issues disabled people face, and the impacts more opportunities in physical activities and sports could make.

The latest survey, involving almost 2000 disabled and non-disabled people aged 16 and above, revealed that nearly two-thirds (65%) of disabled people who felt lonely agreed that being active could reduce their isolation.

Yet since the start of the pandemic, 54% of disabled people were more likely to feel isolated than non-disabled people (30%).

The survey uncovered the financial landscape as a barrier to increasing physical activity and therefore improving the wellbeing of disabled people.

It was reported that 60% of disabled people citied the cost-of-living crisis for reducing how much they socialise, of which over a third (37%) saying it affected how active they were.

Reeve confirmed Activity Alliance are led by this survey to provide the best and most useful support for disabled people, as “it gives real facts and statistics to what the reality is”.

“There are usually quite simple methods to adapt sports so that’s something we do,” he added.”

“We have educational programmes that work with coaches and volunteers to give advice and also to say that there are ways and means where most sports and physical activity can be adapted so that it can be enjoyed by everyone”.

Provided by: Activity Alliance

Looking ahead towards a big year in sports, Activity Alliance are in the planning stage of their next campaign, with a focus on the Paralympics.

However, their aims are concentrated on ensuring that following and supporting the Paralympic games results in a positive change socially for disabled people in sports.

Reeve said: “Obviously it’ll be in the headlines when it’s on, but we want to make sure the conversation continues around the legacy of it, and that you don’t have to be an elite athlete as a disabled person to be given those opportunities.

“Someone who lives down the street who just wants to go out and do a lap at the park deserves the same opportunities as a non-disabled person.

“So we want to make sure that while we celebrate the Paralympics it also has a social impact and that grass roots sports also fills that benefit.”

To apply for the Manchester Marathon with Activity Alliance follow this link.

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