rucstRotherham United Community Sports Trust (RUCST) has received £168,141 to train support staff and carers to provide sporting opportunities for adults with mental ill health as part of a new 'inclusive' funding initiative from Sport England.

RUCST is one of 44 projects across England that will now offer more opportunities for disabled people to play sport, thanks to £8 million worth of funding announced by Sport England.

Having been named the Football League's Community Club of the Year in 2012, RUCST has continued to grow its programme of using 'the power of football' to promote physical and emotional health and wellbeing.

Further reading: Football helps mental health residents tackle anger management issues

This latest funding will ensure that RUCST is able to access even more people across the local community, according to health and wellbeing lead Mark Cummins.

"Our adult wellbeing sessions concentrate on participants’ social and mental wellbeing and give them a chance to get out of the house and interact with others," he said.

"Some of the people [we work with with] are getting out for sessions for the first time in years, and this funding will allow us to reach even more people. The social interaction they have from these sessions has a knock-on effect for other parts of their health and also helps long-term health conditions."

Give disabled people more opportunities
Sport England’s Inclusive Sport fund aims to give people with disabilities more opportunities to play sport by investing in organisations with the right expertise, partnerships and links to the disability sector to make this happen. This includes funding for development and start-up costs of new initiatives, and for education and training, so that groups can become more self-sufficient in providing sporting opportunities.

Since the Inclusive Sport fund launched, £17.1 million has been invested in 88 projects that make sport a viable lifestyle choice for people with physical and learning disabilities.

Sport England’s director of insight, Lisa O’Keefe, added: "Record numbers of disabled people now play sport and this is thanks to the tireless energy of organisations, coaches and volunteers across the country. We are delighted to be able to support them by awarding this funding, so that we can continue to improve opportunities and make a real difference in communities."