More About DSY

Disability Sport Yorkshire

Established in 1993, Disability Sport Yorkshire (formerly the Federation of Disability Sports Organisations) brought four existing disability sports organisation under one umbrella body. Our main aim was, and still is, to address the inequality in access to sport for disabled people.

The recent economic recession hit charities hard and presented us with significant challenges. We commissioned a review of our organisational priorities and consulted widely with around 1,600 individuals and a range of regional organisations. Feedback from the broader sporting community in Yorkshire confirmed strong support for our work. We clarified our objectives, developed a strategic plan for disability sport, modernised our working practices and recruited a new Board of Trustees with broad business experience. To mark the new era we also changed our name to Disability Sport Yorkshire.

Our Vision

Disability Sport Yorkshire has committed to three major impacts by 2020. We aim to make Yorkshire the best place in England for disabled people to:

  • Improve their health through physical activity.
  • Play sport on a regular basis.
  • Become a sporting champion.

We aim to give disabled people in Yorkshire the best possible sporting experience they can have no matter where they live in the region and ensure there is no better place in England for disabled people to play and/or succeed in sport. We aspire to be the organisation that everyone in Yorkshire looks to for advice and guidance on disability sport.

Underpinning this are our key values:
  • Disabled people at the heart of all we do – enabling disabled people to take up positions of responsibility within sport.
  • Equality for all – ensuring the integration of disabled children and adults in mainstream community and sporting provision.
  • Building alliances for the delivery  of sport – enhancing the capacity of communities and providers to work inclusively by integrating disabled people into recreational provisions.
  • Partnership – working in partnership with other sports and community providers to maximise the available resources.

Our Strategy

Our strategy ‘Champions of Inclusion’ focuses on four key areas of work.

  • Championing Disability Sport – engaging with mainstream sports providers to develop the specialist knowledge and expertise to ensure inclusive sporting opportunities are available at all levels in the community.
  • Leadership and co-ordination – providing a clear strategic direction and maximising resources to ensure the inclusion of disabled people in mainstream sporting provision.
  • Coaching and volunteering – working with the sports skills sector, governing bodies and community to recruit and train more sports leaders and volunteers to support disabled people into sport and physical activity.
  • Partnership working – bringing together all stakeholders and by providing guidance and expertise, ensure a co-ordinated sport and physical activity offer for disabled people of all ages and abilities.

Our Achievements

In the last decade Disability Sport Yorkshire has raised over £3.5 million for the development of disability sport in Yorkshire.

  • The Wooden Spoon Active Events Programme is unique to Yorkshire and in the last decade participation has grown from 1,400 to over 5,500 disabled children.
  • In the last year we have worked with 132 schools across the region, an increase of 15% on the previous year.
  • Our contract work with local authorities has significantly boosted access to sport and physical activity in the local area for disabled people of all ages and abilities.
  • In 2014 over 500 trained volunteers, disabled and non-disabled, supported the delivery of 27 development, training and event programmes.
  • Working with 15 colleges and 9 universities in Yorkshire we provide essential disability equality training for future professionals on the inclusion of disabled people in sport.
  • As part of our contribution to an inclusive workforce, we offer work placements to students and plan to establish a sports apprenticeship scheme for disabled young people.
  • Local clubs and other organisations benefit from our range of training programmes on disability equality in sport and adapted games.

Current Work

We work with strategic partners, locally, regionally and nationally, to maximise resources and deliver more choices in more sport. We share a common approach on how sport is planned and delivered and have a five year business plan which sets out our planned outcomes.

We produce an annual calendar of events setting out the activity and development days, coaching courses and competitive events for disabled people of all ages and abilities. In order to do this we employ a CEO and a small professional team of sports development and project officers.

Advice and Guidance

We provide advice and support to disability groups on how to get started, assisting with legal status, funding applications and promotion of activities. We offer guidance and training to mainstream clubs on the inclusion of disabled sports people and provide signposting for individuals on access to facilities and clubs in their preferred sport and how to progress to their chosen level, whether that is playing regularly or progressing to elite level.

Contract Work

We are contracted by local authorities to conduct research and provide services to resolve access issues for disabled people. An example of this is our current 3 year contract with Kirklees Council. Our remit is to assess the needs of disabled people who are socially excluded and help them find and sustain access to leisure opportunities. We work with priority groups including those with mental ill-health, dementia, those recovering from stroke/ cardiac disease. We are also contracted to set up new activities, promote leadership opportunities amongst the disabled population and assist local clubs and organisations to be more inclusive.

Active Events

Our active events programme is unique to Yorkshire. We run a comprehensive events programme each year which involves over 5,500 participation places for disabled children and young adults. We co-ordinate and deliver over 21 sports events and associated development days, including Football, Boccia, New Age Kurling, Swimming, Tag Rugby, Table Cricket and Athletics. We have over 500 trained volunteers, disabled and non-disabled, who support the delivery of the programme.