Most sports have very basic kit requirements: the right kind of t-shirt, shorts or tracksuit, that kind of thing. Adapted sports, however, sometimes require participants to get hold of specialist items such as sports wheelchairs that can prove expensive. We look at a few sources where you might be able to acquire funding.
Whilst public bodies do their best to provide opportunities to get involved in sports, they have to regard sports equipment as ‘personal’ (and beyond their funding remit) to the individual – and indeed it usually is – and will require at least some personal adjustment to the user. Sadly, this necessary made-to-measure approach means that prices are not kept low by manufacturers being able to ‘mass produce’ hundreds of identical pieces of equipment and costs remain higher than they would otherwise.
Schools and clubs tend to combat this by keeping close tabs on any used equipment that suddenly becomes available – such as when a young person grows out of it. They will, of course, also raise what funds they can to purchase ‘club-owned’ stock that usually has adjustable settings to suit most of their players.
At the elite end of sport, sponsorship from sports brands and so on can be very useful in securing the latest models but this is generally a dream scenario for most disabled people.
Adam Millichip Foundation
The aim of the foundation is to help disabled people to participate in sport. This is for individuals looking to improve their quality of life by taking up a new activity and is for athletes new to sport, rather than for competition purposes.
Cash 4 Clubs
The Cash 4 Clubs sports club grant scheme provides funding to community sports clubs in the UK, with grants ranging from £250 to £1,000 for the purchase of new equipment and investing in the sustainability of clubs.
They accept grant applications from clubs on an ongoing basis with winners chosen by a judging panel consisting of representatives from Betfair, SportsAid and other panellists who provide further input and an independent perspective.
Any sports club that is registered with its sports’ national governing body or local authority can apply. Whilst no preference is given to types of sport or the age of people involved with the club, they do look for sports clubs that play an active role in the community.
Caudwell Children’s Enable Sport Programme
The programme provides specifically designed sports equipment to enable disabled children and young people below the age of 18 to participate in sport. Donations must be used for a specific item and not given as a general cash advance e.g. wheelchair, exercise equipment and be for an individual to use rather than by a sporting organisation.
Funding decisions are based on those in greatest need of financial assistance and is only given to families whose joint salary is less than £45,000 gross per annum (not including benefits) as well as the sporting potential of the child.
The ‘Wheel Appeal’ provides new sports wheelchairs, training and coaching that will enable all disabled children and adults to participate in and enjoy competitive and recreational sport.
Applications are welcomed from adults aged 18 and over who have become disabled within the last two years as well as clubs and organisations working in partnership with WheelPower to introduce disabled people to sport.
The Wheel Appeal only fund manual sports wheelchairs, handcycles, throwing frames and ice hockey sledges and will provide successful applicants with either a ‘standard’ manual sports wheelchair or a grant towards a bespoke sports wheelchair. (The maximum value of any grant is £1,500.)
The Lord’s Taverners is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity whose objective is to give disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.
The Lord’s Taverners have donated sports wheelchairs to over 1,000 young people since 2003.
Whilst the organisations mentioned can certainly provide much-needed funds to a variety of clubs, individuals and projects connected with sport, it is also a good idea to raise funds through other means. The money raised can, of course, be used towards equipment but it might also be used to fund other items connected with your sporting activity such as travel and administration costs for clubs etc.
You could raise money using these ideas…
Challenges involving speed or endurance work well. It might be a ‘marathon’ boccia session or a challenge to see how many ‘baskets’ your basketball team can shoot in an hour. Sponsorship can be directly linked to the outcomes.
Lots of sportspeople enjoy telling nostalgic tales of when they were at the top of their game and will (either for expenses or a fee) make a speaking appearance at your fundraiser. Similarly, current sports stars are often encouraged to remain ‘grounded’ by their clubs and may be able to turn up to a training session or a ‘meet ‘n’ greet’ session which could become ticketed events or just help to sell more drinks in the club bar etc.
Memorabilia is big business. Everybody seemingly wants a piece of their sporting idols. Writing to clubs or sports stars for autographed pictures etc and then auctioning them away can be a goldmine.
The good old fashioned, simple to set up sports quiz is always a winner. Make sure you get your questions and answers absolutely right though – people take them very seriously.
Bang up-to-date, crowdfunding (sometimes known as ‘Just Giving’) is a way to raise money, awareness and support for a project, from the people around you. Instead of finding one big ‘donor’ the power of the crowd means that the accumulated small donations can make a big difference.
Crowdfunding enables people to raise the money they need in return for ‘rewards’. The public can back your idea with pledges of money and project owners can ‘thank’ their backers with rewards that reflect the money contributed – this could be a thank you tweet, a t-shirt or other memento etc depending on the scale of the contribution.