Inspiring 'sport for all' event gets Olympic backing

21 Feb 2011 13:19:00.383

PA 58/11

A University of Nottingham initiative, designed to raise awareness of disability sport among students and the local community, has received the Inspire 2012 Mark for its commitment to Olympic and Paralympic values.

One of only a handful of projects in the East Midlands to receive the award, Any-Body Month will encourage people to get fit and try new sports whatever their capabilities, while promoting the seven core Olympic and Paralympic values: excellence, respect, friendship, courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

Following the announcement of the award, Seb Coe, Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: “Any-Body Month is encouraging students, community members and those with a disability to fulfil their potential.

“I am proud that partners such as The University of Nottingham are delivering on our vision to use the power of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to boost participation in sport no matter what a person’s abilities.”

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The organisers hope that with the backing of the Olympic team, the second annual Any-Body Month will be even more successful than the inaugural event, which attracted over 100 people and received the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) ‘Diversity in Sport Award’ in 2010.

To ensure that participants get the most out of the month, coaches from national governing bodies and regional sports groups have been signed up to deliver coaching, while a number of the University’s sports clubs will help with the sessions and learn how to make their own clubs more inclusive.

The sports on offer have been specifically chosen to enable people of all abilities to take part and will include:

  • Sutton Bonington (12March) Horse riding, Wheelchair Rugby and Tai Chi
  • Jubilee (19 March) Powerchair Football, Judo and Pilates
  • University Park (26 March) Tennis, Badminton and Aqua Fit

Representatives of other universities, including Loughborough and Nottingham Trent, have been invited to the event, along with members of the local community to see how they could initiate similar projects for their students, and if successful BUCS plan to roll out the initiative with higher education providers nationwide.

This possibility has been strongly backed by Hannah Webber, Sports Disability Officer at The University of Nottingham, who believes that despite ongoing work to correct it, there is still a gap in sporting provision for disabled people.

She said: “This event aims to fill that gap by educating the University sports clubs on how to make their offering more inclusive; through the delivery of bespoke sessions that are tailored to address some of the barriers to participation; and by clear pathways and exit routes into continued activity beyond the ABM event.

“In 2010 approximately 100 students got involved and we hope to build on this in 2011. The event is designed to provide all students with a number of positive experiences, which will give them a more complete experience of University life. They will also benefit through volunteering opportunities and gain a greater understanding of the barriers faced by disabled people playing sport.”

Athletic Union Officer, Dave Heads, added that the Student’s Union have also backed the project. He said: “The University of Nottingham Students’ Union is committed to providing opportunities for all students, whatever their interests or abilities, to get involved in University life and to demonstrate their skills and potential. Any-Body Month is a brilliant event, as it gives everyone the chance to access sporting activities in a supportive environment where the aim is simply to have fun and try something new.”

As well as enabling students of all abilities to get involved in sport, Any-Body Month is open to members of the local community who are welcome to experience new sports, make use of university facilities and connect with students as either a participant or volunteer.

Any-Body Month is free for anybody to attend, thanks to funding from the University of Nottingham’s Annual Fund, Sport Nottinghamshire and the Student’s Union Disability Students Network. For more information, please visit the Any-Body Month website at


Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:

The Annual Fund Grants Awards: Any-Body Month has been partially sponsored by a £2,500 grant from the University’s Annual Fund. Made up from grants from alumni, a panel of former students chose to sponsor the event in order to fund coaching fees, equipment, transport and promotional products.

Using donations received principally from University of Nottingham alumni, the Annual Fund Grants Awards support projects which directly benefit or enhance the student experience, or which add to the University’s student outreach or community activities. Applications for support are approved by a panel of leading alumni donors, with project grants of up to £25,000 available. Further information about the Annual Fund Grants Awards can be found at

About the Inspire programme: The Inspire programme is run by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is an opportunity for everyone to be a part of the London 2012 Games – a broad participation programme spanning sport participation, education, sustainability, volunteering, and business opportunities & skills. New opportunities are being created to inspire young people and encourage the whole of the UK to join in.

About London 2012: The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are delivered by two key organisations – the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

LOCOG is responsible for staging a memorable Games in 2012. They will deliver the best possible Olympic and Paralympic Games experience for everyone involved, enabling a lasting legacy and inspiring people to join in.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is the public body responsible for developing and building the new venues and infrastructure for the Games and converting the Olympic Park for long-term use after the Games.

In the summer of 2012, the UK will come alive with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

[The four-year Cultural Olympiad will reach a climax with the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on 27 July. This event marks the start of the 60-day festival of sport and culture across the UK that is the Olympic and Paralympic Games.]

Find out the latest from the London 2012 HQ blog –

Story credits

For more information, please contact Hannah Webber, Disability Sport Officer, The University of Nottingham at
Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

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