Spring into Action Director Wins Disability Sports Award

26th September 2016 - posted by Lucy Hamlin

Rachael McHugh, director at community interest company, Spring into Action, won the Hyndburn Sports Award Service to Disability Sports award, in the annual awards ceremony held in The Ballroom at Accrington Town Hall on Friday 23rd September 2016.

Rachael said that she is thrilled to win the award and hope it helps to raise awareness of the work of Spring into Action: “I am delighted to win this award but it is an achievement that can be celebrated by the young people and young adults that attend our sports sessions at Hyndburn Leisure Centre.”

Rachael collected the award with four of the organisations Ambassadors, who have been chosen by the directors to be the face of their Inclusive Community Sports Club, Spring into Sport.

Ambassador, Avril Hardman, said: “Sometimes I feel as though people are scared to come and talk to me because I have a learning disability, but I enjoy sports and especially Zumba, just like anyone else.”

Ambassador Bradley Wilson, said: “Rachael has done so much for us over the past few years. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

Ambassador Adam Hartley added: “I have learned how to keep healthy and to try new things. I am so proud of Rachael for winning this award.”

The club launched earlier this year after Spring into Action recognised a need to increase participation in sport and physical activity amongst people with disabilities and found that people particularly with learning disabilities did not always feel confident accessing leisure centres and sports clubs because they were unsure whether staff could accommodate their needs.

On collecting her award, Rachael made a plea to everyone in the audience to come along and join in. “We have some real talent at our Sports Club and everyone is welcome. We would love for other clubs to come along and see what we do, and possibly find new members for their own clubs. We would also love to see some new faces and have space for new members. It’s not just for people with learning disabilities, everyone is welcome.”

Since 2013, Spring into Action has launched a number of projects with sport and physical activity in mind. Young people have been involved in dance, trampolining, archery, football and more. As well as the Spring into Sport club, the organisation also run Tennis and Dance sessions in the Ribble Valley.

Lucy Hamlin, Director said: “We are all really proud of Rachel, she deserves this award. As well as coaching at the sports club, she is also a tutor and is about to start a Volunteer Training programme where people can complete a Level 1 Award in Sports Volunteering, to enable the next generation of volunteers to start their journey.”