A Rotary project which promotes inclusivity for disabled sport has won a major award.
The ‘Yes We Can’ project, which is organised by the Leighton Linsdale Rotary club, was presented with the Sports & Wellbeing Award for Central Bedfordshire.
They won the volunteer project category, beating off competition from a number of very worthwhile initiatives in the county.
This follows the club being presented earlier this year with Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland’s Community Cup.
The award was for the club’s ‘Yes We Can’ initiative to bring affordable and sustainable sporting opportunities to those with a disability in south and west Bedfordshire.
The scheme has been running for almost two years, forging partnerships with a number of organisations in the county, including the MK Dons football club, and charities such as Mencap.
One of the key instigators has been long-standing Leighton Linslade resident Christine Munford, who has run Otters Disability Swimming Club for over 25 years.
The awards ceremony celebrated a number of achievements including:
- The MK Buzzards over-18s football team completed their first league campaign by finishing 4th out of 10 teams. They have been shortlisted for project of the year by the Berks & Bucks Football Association and their coach has been shortlisted as volunteer of the year.
- One of the disability lawn green bowlers, who has a significant sight impairment, has made it into the main Leighton Buzzard Bowls Team.
- One of the group’s hockey players with autism has made it into mainstream hockey as a result of the ‘Yes We Can’ sessions.
- The initiative has attracted funding from Asda, Tesco, Leighton Buzzard Golf Club, Leighton Buzzard Sports Council, solicitors Osborne, Morris & Morgan, and the Mayor has made ‘Yes We Can’ his 2019/20 charity.
- The project won the District 1260 Governor’s Cup for the second year in a row.
Richard Johnson from Leighton Linsdale Rotary said: “The programme goes from strength to strength.
“We are looking forward to our one day multi-sports sessions in August as well as some work we are trying to develop with the MacIntrye School in Aylesbury.
“Thank you once again to all our friends and partners without whom this programme would not exist.”