In a drive to strengthen education around the provision of inclusive physical activity, Sport For Confidence has joined forces with specialist education provider, Writtle University College. 
According to Sport England’s most recent Active Lives Survey, people with a disability and/or long-term health condition are twice as likely (46%) to be inactive as the general population (23%). This disparity is largely due to the many barriers to participation that exist for this demographic group. In 2022, the Activity Alliance also reported that, post pandemic, disabled people are less likely than non-disabled people to have a positive return-to-activity experience (52% vs 70%). 
Megan Potts, Occupational Therapist, Sport For Confidence, explains: “Sport and physical activity have the potential to deliver a diverse array of therapeutic benefits that enhance lives and positively impact the quality of life of those involved. Via this partnership with Writtle University College, and specifically The Centre of Sport and Health, we will work with all academic departments to provide coaches with the knowledge and tools they need to practice more holistically. 
“Through enhanced course content, guest lecturers and the provision of opportunities for students to gain off-site practical experience working with a variety of demographics, we will advise on several topics including adaptive practice, public health, common disabilities, barriers to participation and sensory processing considerations. We will also provide guidance to the University on general accessibility and inclusion to ensure everybody utilising the facilities and services has the best possible experience.” 
The partnership, made possible through an introduction by the Office of Students Knowledge Exchange, is one of mutual benefit. Historically, Sport For Confidence has struggled to recruit coaches with experience and education around the use of physical activity as a therapeutic tool. This skills gap has required additional post -appointment education. The new partnership with Writtle University College will deliver fit for purpose coaches to the workforce, meaning they can hit the ground running, having an immediate impact on the delivery of effective, safe and progressive inclusive physical activity. 
Mark Williams, Head of Department and Senior Lecturer, Writtle University College, says: “Our aim is always to provide students with the best possible prospects for success in the job market through the delivery of market-relevant education and training. This partnership with Sport For Confidence provides our student coaches and health and exercise practitioners, with access to specialist, high quality information and experience that plugs a skills gap and gives them a competitive advantage. This enhancement in skills will, in turn, provide more opportunities for disabled people to engage in meaningful physical activity, therefore diminishing health inequalities and occupational injustices.” 
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