In the Bristol area children with disabilities are being included in school programmes within Special and Mainstream schools and the schools themselves are well co-ordinated with groups such as:
Bristol & Area Special Schools Sports Association (BASSSA)
But it is vitally important that these children have an exit route in terms of community provision; it is all very well children having sport at school but what happens at 3.30pm, at weekends or at age 16?
It was with this in mind that we set up BUDS, so named the Bristol Union of Disability Sport. Firstly we approached the European Year of Disabled People to seek funding to allow us to concentrate on community sports projects. We were successful in this bid and obtained £10,000 to coordinate sport in the community for people with disabilities in Bristol.
Together with Bristol City Council and the English Federation of Disability Sport we drew up an invite list of all of the sports clubs that were either impairment specific, such as the Bristol Pirates Wheelchair Basketball Club & the Avon Sports Club for the visually impaired or willing and able to cater for disabled people such as the Bristol Henleaze Swimming Club. We then invited all of these sports clubs to a forum at which they could be supported by us sports professionals in terms of access to funding, coach education and information sharing.
The Bristol forum quickly formed themselves into an energetic group and already link to the Bristol Special Schools. 'BUDS' organised a 'Come and Try It' Sports Day on Monday 16th June at the new St Paul's Community Sports Academy. This was attended by 7 special schools, 3 mainstream inclusion schools, a post 16 years college for young disabled people and 7 adult day centres. More than 340 people, 2/3rds of which had a disability, attended the day and BUDS promoted its sports to all those who enjoyed the day.
For the last two years, BUDS has been lucky enough to be the chosen charity of UWE and University of Bristol and in 2006 received over £8,000, which was shared with it's sister group SUDS.
BUDS multi-sports club for children with a disability as well as their siblings and Friends, at Horfield Leisure Centre. The third Disability Sport and leisure Directory will be produced in January in conjunction with Wesport and SUDS.
Patron; Steve Brunt MBE