Creating new opportunities in partnership with Sense

Posted by Joanna Rowbottom on 14/07/2017

The BMC and Sense, the national charity that supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, have recently partnered up to develop an action plan aimed at encouraging more people with sight and hearing impairments to get involved in rock climbing.

Participation in sport and physical activity has significant physical, mental and emotional benefits, yet over 300,000 people with dual sensory loss in England encounter a number of barriers in accessing and participating in sport. Sense has been awarded funding from Sport England to deliver ‘Sporting Sense’, a project which aims to increase opportunities for people with multi-sensory impairments, and complex needs to participate in sport and physical activity. Rock climbing is being delivered as part of the Sporting Sense project and is proving to be a hugely popular activity. By working together, we hope to continue to increase awareness, and develop more inclusive opportunities for people with multisensory or complex needs to enjoy participating in rock climbing.  

WATCH: Rock Climbing for People with Sensory Impairments on BMC TV

The partnership between the BMC and Sense focuses on supporting coaches and instructors to provide opportunities that are accessible to service users, developing new opportunities and sustainable activities for those with multi-sensory impairments and complex needs, and raising the profile of rock climbing as an accessible and enjoyable activity.

Jo Rowbottom, equity and partnerships officer at the BMC said:

“We’re very excited to be working with Sense and supporting the Sporting Sense project. The action plan we have developed provides a framework and sets out key targets for this partnership working. This provides an opportunity for the BMC to support the development of more accessible activities, and raise the profile of rock climbing as an activity that is suitable to those with a disability or impairment.”

WATCH: Top tips for coaches: helping people with sensory impairments get active on BMC TV

Alissa Ayling, national sport manager at Sense said: 

“We are extremely fortunate to have a great relationship with the BMC who have continuously supported our aspirations to provide opportunities for people with multi-sensory and complex needs to access such a great sport. The support the BMC provides through our partnership enables us to have some meaningful conversations with coaches and facilities at a local level in order to support an inclusive approach to participation. We are seeing first hand from a number of our participants the progress they are making in developing a wide range of skills, and we look forward to continuing our work with the BMC.”


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