The Join In blog: Tagged "Disability Sport"

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Lisa feels volunteering has improved her work/life balance
Lisa feels volunteering has improved her work/life balance

“Giving back had made me a better human being”

You probably haven’t given a second thought to how the athletes get from their accommodation to their venues during an Olympic or Paralympic Games. But one of our Legacy Volunteers, Lisa Blythman-Wood thinks of nothing else.

Following on from her time as a Games Maker at the Paralympic Games in London, Lisa is now volunteering in Rio. She has reprised her role with the Transport Team in the athlete’s village and is loving every minute of it.

“It has been another hot day in Rio with little or no breeze, if only this had remained the same for the whole day.



Chris and his fellow volunteers at the Wheelchair tennis
Chris and his fellow volunteers at the Wheelchair tennis

Volunteering at the Rio Paralympics

Join In Legacy Volunteer Chris Thorn loved lending a hand at the Olympics in Rio – now he’s helping out at the Paralympics.

“It’s the Paralympics Opening Ceremony tonight and after two full days of intensive training by Omega’s Josh and Hannah (the best Floridian double act since Mickey and Minnie), I can’t wait to start on Friday – as a Caller in the statistics and technology team at the wheelchair tennis.

If we are scheduled to work in the two big show courts, there will be three of us up in the rafters in a little box – one on radar, one caller, one stats input. It will be our job to activate the service speed gun and to mark the direction of the serve that you see on TV graphics (wide, body or centre) for commentators, coaches, athletes and fans to analyse the game.


Lord's cricket volunteer
Lending a hand at Lord's is one of the many big event volunteer opportunities available

Big event volunteering  

Whether it’s at a local triathlon, blind golf tournament, or major hockey championship, there are lots of great volunteering opportunities coming your way. So which will you pick?

British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships

Catch some of the world’s best players before they go to the Rio 2016 Games. Sample that big event atmosphere in Nottingham from 26-31 July.

>> Sign me up! (more…)

Sue and Graeme – paired on and off the course.

A volunteering match

From marriage to matchplay – how one couple gave back to disability golf. Sue Robertson tells their story.

“I was 38 and a single mum of two. I met Graeme on, but unbeknown to us we lived less than a mile apart in Wokingham. After a fair bit of correspondence we decided to meet up the day after Graeme’s 40th birthday.

Typical us, we couldn’t decide where to meet so I ended up just inviting him over to watch the tennis together; and when he walked through my door at 6’4”, tall dark and handsome, I was totally smitten!

JI-Robertson_Sept2015 (more…)

Fuelling local sport in one London community.

Herne Hill community of sport

Herne Hill in southeast London is one of the most physically active areas in London, where sport is thriving. It takes the dedication of hundreds of volunteers to create such an active, healthy and connected community.

Herne Hill Harriers is a community running club that prides itself on being inclusive and welcoming. They set up a Join In page in 2015 and have attracted more than 10 new local volunteers since then. “We’ve had some great volunteers come through from Join In,” Barbara, the Club Secretary said.

One such local volunteer is Sarah, who lives very close to Tooting Bec, the club’s main training ground. She volunteered at the Cerebral Palsy World Games as an athlete marshal and in the call out room. After that, she was interested in officiating and getting involved regularly at a local club, so she searched for opportunities on the Join In website and found the Herne Hill Harriers.


#bespecialtogether with the Belfast Cranes.

Be special together

How a Special Olympics basketball club harnessed the power of social media to recruit more volunteers. Club member Shona Pryde explains how the Belfast Cranes did it.

Belfast Cranes were awarded a Northern Ireland Volunteering Small Grant from the Department of Social Development to recruit more volunteers using an innovative approach. We wanted not only to find new volunteers, but also to show our appreciation to our existing dedicated band of volunteers, supporters, and friends.

No campaign, no gain

Our management team, who are all volunteers themselves, began developing ideas for a social media campaign featuring our existing team to recruit new volunteers, with a launch party that would celebrate everyone who helped us get up and running and kept us going during the past two years.



Football for everyone with the Skem Men-Aces.

An unsung hero’s tale

Having grown up with spina bifida, Carl Eaton is no stranger to tough times; but the uncompromising love of his parents helped him persevere and inspired him to give something back to his community.

Today, he spends much of his spare time coaching Skem Men-Aces FC, a Skelmersdale-based disability football team. Here’s Carl’s story in his own words…

“I was born in 1962 with a condition known as spina bifida. The doctors advised my parents to leave me in the care of the hospital and start another family; but my mam and dad were fuelled with the exhilaration of their firstborn. The sheer love for each other meant they would never agree with the so-called professionals and they took me home.

The next 12 months gave Mam and Dad huge challenges, and then came son number two. When our Harry was born, he was thought to be in good health, but as the months progressed, it began to show that he had problems. They soon discovered that our Harry had learning disabilities.

Remap engineers help make sport more accessible to all.

Designing for disabled athletes

Engineers. Artisans. Designer-makers. Peter Vielvoye joined them to make a difference in disability sport.

Peter Vielvoye happened across a notice in a local magazine. It asked for those with workshop experience to help disabled people lead more independent lives.

For the recently retired Design and Technology teacher, it was perfect. He would join 15 other engineers on Remap’s Gloucestershire panel in designing and tailoring equipment to fit individual needs.

The process is straightforward. People from the community send their requests and one of the charity’s engineers solves the problem. These innovations span the breadth of the imagination from a wheelchair with reversing mirrors, to an easy-to-use electronic toy switch for a child with cerebral palsy. For Peter Vielvoye, it involved creating the Throwster. (more…)

Help ParalympicsGB excel at Rio2016.

British Paralympic campaign receives stellar support

Eddie Izzard and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson are two of four ambassadors supporting the latest fundraising campaign launched by the British Paralympic Association↑. Members of the public are asked to help Supercharge Paralympics GB by generating support and donating funds.

Repeating the success of London 2012 won’t be easy, especially with the next two Olympic and Paralympic Games far away from home soil. It will be more challenging and expensive, and while the Paralympians get funding from the National Lottery and UK Sport, theses athletes often require extras, such as special mattresses.