Last month marked one year from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in early March 2020, our members were just beginning to look forward to a summer of sport, with the Paralympics on the horizon.
Then, almost overnight, everything changed. With lockdown restrictions in place, we were forced to close all of our 14 Community Clubs across London, and our members found themselves stuck at home, with their often already-limited social activity taken away.
Even in regular times, disabled people are four times as likely to experience loneliness than non-disabled people, and the pandemic posed a real challenge to many of our more isolated members.When our coaches told members at Club Lambeth about closing, one member said, "We can’t close – this is the only thing I do! What am I going to do?"
Recent research from Activity Alliance found that twice as many disabled people felt that Covid-19 greatly reduced their ability to do sport or physical activity compared to non-disabled people.
So, to tackle this, we quickly created our #DSCAtHome programme to help keep our community active and connected. This gave our members access to several online sports sessions each week, and we also sent out home equipment packs with our own home activity programme, sharing exciting, inclusive exercises, resources and creative ideas.
Although it has been an incredibly challenging year, we have been consistently impressed by the resilience of our members. We have seen so many individuals grow in confidence online, learning new skills and showing just how determined and inspiring our community can be - whether it was through completing challenge events or participating in virtual events.
One year on, we wanted to celebrate this resilience with something special. Next week, we will be marking the anniversary of #DSCAtHome with a week-long programme of activities designed to bring participants together and reflect on how far we've come.
Our 'One Year On' programme will feature a range of fun, inclusive activities, ranging from circus skills to boxing and even a dance party.
There will also be creative sessions, such as a bake-a-long, a best-of-year quiz and a wellbeing-focused masterclass on 'The Power of Me'. Special guests from the world of Paralympic sport are also expected to make appearances throughout the week.
CEO Peter Ackred says: “Over the past year, our adapted activities have been hugely popular, reaching 4,000 disabled participants.
“With in-person activity being gradually introduced over the coming months, and the Paralympics going ahead this August, this is the perfect time for the sports sector to re-invigorate and support the disabled community to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of being active.”
The One Year On programme will run from Tuesday 12th April to Saturday 17th, and will be held on Zoom. Attendance is completely free and individuals from across the disabled community are invited to join.
To register, click here now! We can't wait to celebrate with you!