The sportscotland National Centre Inverclyde has won a prestigious award for its work on inclusion and accessibility at the inaugural Variety Club Disability Sports Awards.
At a star-studded event in Leeds hosted by Channel Four presenter Adam Hills MBE, and GB Snowsport Chief Executive, Vicky Gosling OBE, the centre picked up the award for Accessible Sporting Venue.
Head of the Centre, Barry Fleeting, accepted the award saying: “Winning this award is recognition for our commitment to creating an accessible, residential sports venue, the first of its kind across the UK.
“The award recognises not only the fantastic venue, but the strength and quality of our team who keep inclusivity at the heart of their approach in working with disability sport groups.”
The Centre in Largs, which reopened in 2018 following a £12million redevelopment, has been created with inclusivity in mind, for athletes, spectators, visitors and employees. Access routes between accommodation, catering and meeting facilities, and the indoor sports facilities are completely seamless. All of the bedrooms can comfortably accommodate two guests using wheelchairs and several adjoining bedrooms include hoists. The aim is for each visitor, guest, or staff member to be able to use every part of the centre without barriers and with dignity.
Congratulating Barry and the team on behalf of sportscotland, Maureen Campbell, Chair of the Trust Company Board, said: “I’m delighted to see the work of the team recognised by this award. The judging panel noted that the centre and its staff do an outstanding and exceptional job in ensuring that all customers, particularly those who have disabilities, are well cared for in their use of the facilities. The staff are integral to winning the award. I’m immensely proud for them.”
The Centre is used by governing bodies of sport, clubs and communities, schools, and national and international teams. It has also hosted a number of sports events, including the recent Street Soccer Nations Cup.
One of the Centre’s national partners, Scottish Disability Sport (SDS), was behind the nomination for this special award. Gavin Macleod, Chief Executive Officer of SDS explained why: “Too often, participants in disability sport have to travel further and overcome physical barriers to access training facilities. Those barriers apply at all levels, from grassroots to the Paralympic Games.
“Inverclyde is different. It has been created with inclusivity in mind and from the outset, sportscotland worked with partners across sport, education, local authorities, and the local community to deliver an inclusive and inspiring national centre.
"The centre has put real emphasis on learning and feedback to shape their ongoing growth and development. This is what ensures that they can be responsive to the needs of a diverse range of groups and athletes. All staff are trained in disability inclusion, and this ensures that one of the biggest barriers, attitude, is overcome immediately. That’s why we nominated them for this very special award.”
The Disability Sports Awards celebrate and champion people with disabilities in sport. With awards across many levels, roles, locations, and sports, the aim is to make the sporting world a more diverse and inclusive place.
Find out more
About the Variety Club Disability Sport Awards
About the work of Scottish Disability Sport