Disability sport in the Borders

Euan Jardine (SBC executive member culture and sport), Alan Oliver (disability sports development officer), Ruth Hounham (chairperson Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group) and Graham Cook (vice chairman Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group)
Euan Jardine (SBC executive member culture and sport), Alan Oliver (disability sports development officer), Ruth Hounham (chairperson Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group) and Graham Cook (vice chairman Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group)

Disability sport in the Scottish Borders has received a major boost with three parties jointly funding a disability sports development officer post.

Scottish Borders Council, charity Live Borders and the Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group have reached an agreement which will see the disability sport development officer post continue for the next three years, in an agreement believed to be unique in Scotland.

The agreement means current development officer Alan Oliver, a para-badminton internationalist, can continue encouraging disabled people of all ages to take up a sport. Alan has held the post for the last seven years since the role was created in April 2012.

SBC’s executive member for culture and sport, Councillor Euan Jardine, said: “This is a very exciting three-way partnership which will enhance disability sports provision in the Scottish Borders.

“Inclusion for all is an important subject for the council’s administration and I am delighted that SBC has chosen to support this proposal.

“I look forward to working with both Live Borders and the Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group to increase disability sports provision and participation.”

John McBay, Live Borders’ sports development manager, added: “The partnership between Live Borders, Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group and Scottish Borders Council is a fabulous model of sports development in action.

“This programme allows all of the organisations to work together to provide a pathway from grassroots to performance in sport for people with a disability.”

Graham Cook, Scottish Borders Disability Sports Group vice chairman, said: “This post is absolutely vital for the provision and development of sporting opportunities for children and adults with a disability.

“Over the past five years this post has resulted in a huge increase in the number of people with a disability regularly taking part in a growing number of different sports. SBC’s decision gives us the security to continue and build on this success.”

Gavin McLeod CEO of Scottish Disability Sport (SDS), added: “This forward-thinking example of good-practice is a partnership that has the potential to be replicated elsewhere in Scotland and ensures participants and athletes with a disability are fully considered and included in the Scottish Borders.”