Paralympics and Young Londoners

With London 2012 being a once in a lifetime experience when following on from the Olympics, our city is currently hosting the Paralympics, Help a Capital Child is continuing to invest in providing sporting opportunities for young Londoners before and after the Games.

On 6th September the 2nd anniversary of Inclusive and Active 2, the London-wide sport and physical activity strategy for disabled people, will be celebrated at City Hall. Inclusive and Active 2 is a unique partnership between the Greater London Authority, NHS London and Interactive, and is supported by Help a Capital Child. Organisations and agencies who sign up share the vision to increase opportunities for London’s disabled children and young people to participate in sport and physical activity. Find out more here>

Help a Capital Child has always been committed to funding grassroots sports groups through our small grants programme in London. Just one example is South London Special League

Over the past 6 years 95.8 Capital FM’s Help a Capital Child has also invested £500,000 to work in partnership with London sports bodies to deliver programmes such as Free Sport for All and Sport in the City, giving over 25,000 children and young people of all abilities the opportunity to take part in sport in our capital.

One of these programmes is the London Youth Games Sports Development Grants which we’ve co-funded with Balfour Beatty since they were first awarded in 2007. We both contribute an annual £20,000 and in that time 150 community projects in every London borough have been supported, providing sporting opportunities for around 15,000 young Londoners.

Past grants have included Hounslow focusing on increasing girls participation in hockey, squash, volleyball and also delivering disability football & boccia. Find out more> 

This year’s theme, to mark London’s first ever hosting of the Paralympics, is disability sport. Grants awarded include Ealing’s All Star Athletes sessions and tournament, and Tower Hamlets for their programme of events and training sessions in range of disability sports including adapted rowing, goalball, new age kurling, polybat and sitting volleyball.

Another project Help a Capital Child’s funding is Sports M.A.T.E (Mentoring, Access, Training, Equality), which supports young disabled people into participating in mainstream sport clubs/opportunities through provision of a personalised mentoring and referral scheme. Individuals are referred on to the project through disability services, disabled people organisations, local education establishments, families and support workers. Once the young person has been referred, the Sports M.A.T.E mentors provide up to 6 hours of support.

Supported by the London Pro-Actives and Interactive, the pilot project in North London was featured on Match of the Day 2 and delivered by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation with the following achievements:

  • 89 males and 31 females participated in Sports M.A.T.E
  • 20 local partners to support the project, including 12 mainstream sports clubs
  • 10 different sports
  • 40 volunteer mentors
  • The vast majority of the clubs were mainstream sports clubs, ie. not disability specific
  • 73% of participants have been retained and continue to access the sports club of their choice


Help a Capital Child has now committed a further £40,000 over the next 2 years to roll out Sports M.A.T.E across the rest of London. The project has now also been recognised by Sport England who in June 2012 awarded matched funding for the first year of the pan-London development.