Tonight is the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Motivation is a Bedminster-based charity and social enterprise which could play an important role in this global event.
Around 4,500 athletes from 72 countries are expected to participate. Between today and the 8th August, there will be 283 gold medals won across 22 sports, inclusive of our special interest—parasport. There will be 39 para-events competing in athletics, cycling, weightlifting, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, lawn bowls and 3×3 wheelchair basketball events.
Motivation will be eagerly watching to see if any of the para-athletes are using our Multisport or Flying Start racing wheelchairs—designed right here, in the heart of Bristol.
But it’s not a level playing field…
We believe disabled sports can promote inclusion and tackle the stigma around disability head on. Sport can improve people’s confidence and the way they are perceived by others. Since the 2012 London Paralympics, the success of disability sport has helped bring funding and much needed investment developing access for disabled people to participate in sport.
Motivation help develop grass roots sports by providing the everyday wheelchairs that para-athletes from the world’s low- and middle-income countries will be using to reach the games.
But we know that para-athletes need more support to be able to compete to their full potential. And athletes where we work often cannot afford to. We would love to see a level playing field for all the countries of the Commonwealth.
We know that participation of disabled people in sport positively effects everyone, we would like to see the countries who struggle to fund their athletes be able to field full strength teams in the future.
We have been working in Uganda to promote grass roots sports and greater inclusion via our All Stars Project, providing sports wheelchairs and inclusion training for primary school teachers and coaches.
The outcomes are clear. Disabled boys and girls are coming to and staying in school, which matters in countries like Uganda where 90% of disabled children are not able to attend school. Attendance was up by 15% in the first year with over 350 disabled children taking their place in primary school.
But the benefits extend beyond this, through the project’s ‘buddy’ system, disabled children and non-disabled children are forging friendships that extend beyond school, as they play and explore together in their communities.
Sport has such an important role to play to bring us hope, fun and belonging – from the successes of the Lionesses at the Euro’s this week that make us proud and excited for an unprecedented win in in the final, to the launch of the Games today.
We are excited by seeing countries coming together in peace as a global community. This is something to celebrate especially after the last couple of years. While we’re always excited to see our chairs in action at elite level, we know that those para-athletes deserve better.
For more than 30 years, Motivation have worked to secure the rights of disabled children and adults by designing and providing wheelchairs, training, and services in countries like India, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda.
But these are tough financial times for us all. Covid-19 and the loss of a significant grant from the UK Government during international aid cuts mean Motivation are facing serious financial challenges.
To tackle this, we launched the Keep Us Moving Urgent Appeal. We are delighted to have reached more than three-quarters to our fundraising target of £300,000, having raised £267,330 so far.
We’re so lucky to be backed by people and organisations across Bristol, and beyond, who want to make the world a fair and inclusive place for everyone, everywhere. Thank you!
Every donation, tweet, share, or like helps to secure the future of disabled children and adults around the world. If you’d like to make a donation, or know more about any of our work, please do get in touch with us.