Inclusive Community Sport

Inclusive Community Sport at Bristol Bears Community Foundation offers both defined adults pathways to participation and competition in Wheelchair Rugby; and accessible weekly sessions for youth participants aged 0-18 years to engage in a range of meaningful Inclusive Sport and Physical Activity.

Wheelchair Rugby (adults) offers weekly sessions welcoming anyone who would like to experience the sport - either as an absolute beginner or a seasoned athlete. Sessions provide meaningful pathways into social sport with embedded competitive opportunities, through a fully inclusive club environment.

A Children In Need funded programme, the Foundation's Inclusive Sport and Physical Activity (encompassing our youth Wheelchair Sport programme) runs weekly face-to-face sessions (outside of Lockdown circumstances) and weekly online activity sessions when we cannot meet in person; as well as holiday club engagement and schools outreach across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

Key Aims

Wheelchair Rugby
Our mission recognises the value of sport and that people engage in many different ways, on many different pathways. We want to offer all Wheelchair Rugby pathways to all people at all times, and the chance and choice to mark their own journeys, as part of a sustainable development.

Inclusive Sport and Physical Activity
Our Children in Need funded work is underpinned by deliberately simple but very impacting differences that we wish to make to the lives of the young people we work with. We want every participant to have:

  • More fun
  • Increased belonging
  • Greater sense of pride

Impact and Outcomes

  • Bristol's first-ever Wheelchair Rugby team - working towards national competition¬†
  • Volunteering and mentoring opportunities supporting disabled people to play, coach, and to lead
  • Over 50 disabled participants, siblings, and families engaging in weekly online physical activity
  • Lockdown¬†provision saw 105 online episodes receive 50,000+ views on dedicated YouTube channel
  • 800+ direct programme beneficiaries from youth programmes in 2019-2020.

Programme Structure

Wheelchair Rugby
Weekly Club sessions cater for adults and young people (16+), offering access to social sport, team competition and individual player development. Bristol Bears Wheelchair Rugby has developed into a competitive force regionally, participating in recognised league formats in preparation for Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby's national WR5s (Wheelchair Rugby 5s) summer series.

Embedded volunteering opportunities lead to coach development and mentoring pathways, and the availability of National Level 2 qualifications in Wheelchair Rugby.

Inclusive Sport and Physical Activity
Weekly Wheelchair Sport delivery in partnership with UWE Centre for Sport enables young people (ages 0-18) with additional needs and their siblings opportunities to enjoy a mixture of fun and fully accessible sport and physical activity, as well as dedicated wheelchair sport experiences.

Holiday club provision supports a range of city and county-wide partners to deliver unique and life-changing physical experiences for disabled and disadvantaged young people. Bristol Bears Community Foundation proactivity seeks out local authority, education, charitable, voluntary and other like-minded organisations to support and deliver collaborative provision out of term-time, both online and in-person.

Schools outreach includes delivering fully funded out-of-school activities; inclusive PE & sport taster sessions to allow disabled learners to participate alongside their peers; and also a range of staff development opportunities sharing best practice and specialist knowledge to enhance the lives of hundreds of learners with disabilities across the South West.

Testimonials

"I'm Rob, 27 years old and I sustained a high-level spinal injury in 2013. This left me dependent on a ventilator and paralysed from the neck down. Before my injury I was a keen rugby player. Now with the amazing support of BBCF I am a qualified wheelchair rugby coach and coach of Bristol Bears Wheelchair Rugby. It's great to be involved in sport again."
"I'm Alfie and I am 5 years old and I live near Bristol. I had a tumour called a neuroblastoma and it damaged my left leg and my spinal cord got broken - and now I have a wheelchair and a frame and crutches and a stick. I go to Bristol Bears and play rugby and basketball and I crash into other chairs. I'm not normally allowed to do it (crash) but in those chairs it's got a special bit that's allowed to crash into other chairs. Thank you Bristol Bears, thank you Children In Need."

For more information or to register your interest in Wheelchair Rugby please contact Ian Blundell.

To find out more about Inclusive Sport and Physical Activity please contact Kris Tavender.