A disability sports volunteer has become the 10,000th Londoner to get qualified through the Mayor’s Sport’s Legacy Fund, which is managed by SkillsActive, helping ensure a grass roots sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Jaspaul Vilkhu, 30 (pictured), applied for the programme, which provides up to 75% off training for London sport and leisure volunteers, after learning about the opportunity through the UK’s leading disability sports coaching company, Disability Sports Coach, where he volunteers helping deliver sports to disabled people like himself.
Jaspaul used the 75% subsidy to complete his Boccia Leaders Award. The one day course enabled him to step up his responsibilities and assist other, more qualified coaches in delivering boccia coaching sessions to players of all ages and abilities.
Jaspaul says: “I’m really honoured to be the 10,000th Londoner to qualify through the Mayor’s Sport’s Legacy Fund. I’ve played boccia for three years but I enjoy being a leader and wanted to learn how to coach the sport.
“Thanks to the training, I now feel more confident going into different settings and coaching disabled participants for Disability Sports Coach and the other organisations I work for. I love seeing the smile on people’s faces when they get involved in sport. I’d like to keep gaining new skills and, eventually, find a paid job in sports.”
Managed by SkillsActive’s National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure, the Fund is part of the Mayor's plan ‘A sporting future for London’. The plan ensures Londoners benefit from a genuine grass roots sporting legacy from the 2012 Games, by encouraging more people to become active and strengthen community sport facilities.
Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund project manager Katie Couchman says: “The Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund has created a pathway into coaching and volunteering in amateur sport that would not otherwise be there. London communities will benefit from this programme for years to come.”
Disability Sports Coach founder Peter Ackred says: “Funding training for staff and volunteers can be a challenge, especially in the current financial climate. Thanks to Mayor’s Legacy, we’ve upskilled 30 sports coaches, which is a huge boost for us and our clients.
“Each day, we deliver sport coaching services to people with disabilities all across London, some of whom we think will have a real chance of competing at future Paralympics. Through our work, the Fund is helping deliver a legacy at grassroots and elite sporting level. We’re really proud to be associated with this fantastic project.”
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “It is spot on that these extraordinary, selfless Londoners are being recognised for their contributions through volunteering in our capital. The commitment to helping those most in need should be an example to us all. Being able to recognise the 10,000th person to qualify through the Mayor’s Sport’s Legacy Fund is a wonderful milestone. Congraulations to all who grabbed this unique opportunity for funded training and are playing their part in the Games Legacy.”
Londoners can receive up to 75% off the cost of nationally recognised qualifications in areas such as coaching and officiating, community sport, volunteering, leisure and health, in exchange for volunteering hours.
To find out more about the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund and the range of discounted training on offer please visit www.skillsactive.com/mayorslegacy