Aiken PR

The Briefing

Progressive Building Society working to transform access to disability sports

by Aiken PR


Committed to transforming access to disability sports across Northern Ireland, Progressive Building society and Disability Sport NI have announced that in the last 24 months they have developed over 27,000 participant opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities.

In 2019 Progressive and Disability Sport NI launched a three–year partnership to support the development of Disability Sports Hubs, meaning that for the first time ever there would be 11 part time disability activity leaders based in every single council area.

Even throughout the pandemic the team were determined that the programme would continue to support the physical and mental health of the most vulnerable in society. Commenting on the partnership Progressive’s Chief Executive, Darina Armstrong said “We are passionate about supporting Disability Sport NI in their vision for an inclusive society and the very significant impact that the charity is having on the health and well–being of those living with a disability.”

While the DSNI team had to change its approach throughout lockdown and with the on–going restrictions the hubs couldn’t run in the usual way, therefore, collectively the two organisations worked to co–ordinate activity that would still make a difference. Programmes moved online with pre–recorded activity sessions viewed almost 20,000 times and the charity and Progressive were delighted with the response especially with so many participants voicing that their physical and mental health had been positively impacted by getting involved.

As well as an online ‘Miles and Smiles’ challenge and an NI Virtual Boccia League, over 30,000 stay active resource cards were sent to different disability and community groups across Northern Ireland.

Commenting Aubrey Bingham, Community Sports Manager at Disability Sport NI said, “The support from Progressive over the past years has been instrumental in enabling more disabled people to have the opportunities to take part in physical recreation in their local areas.”

“Over the past year or so, we’ve all experienced very challenging times, however we are very pleased to have been able to offer a range of online recreation options; from low intensity zoom sessions to walking challenges and a NI virtual Boccia league, which have all proved very popular with a wide demographic. We look forward to working with Progressive to strengthen the partnership through the provision of a range of new and innovative recreational activity sessions and competitions across Northern Ireland for disabled people and those with long term health conditions.”

Progressive remains committed to making to a valuable contribution to local people and communities and will continue to support Disability Sport NI and their vision.