A champion para-equestrian rider is urging disabled people across Derbyshire to follow his lead by volunteering at a local sports club.
Matthew Dalley, who won the British Show Jumping National Para Club Grade II title last summer, is getting behind the IMPACT project, which aims to increase the number of disabled volunteers in the county.
Those who come forward to offer their help will be paired with a club in their area to receive volunteer training so they can make the most of their experience.
Matthew, 22, from Alvaston, volunteers at his local club, Scropton RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) in South Derbyshire. He first helped in the yard and now assists with the running of the club’s website and social media channels.
He said: “I am committed to helping other disabled people benefit from an involvement in sport. Through my volunteering, I aim to show that my disability isn’t a barrier to helping make a difference, and I encourage others to take the opportunity.”
Rachel Dyer, of Derbyshire Sport, which is leading the IMPACT project, added: “This is an excellent opportunity to both raise the profile of volunteering and to increase the number of disabled people involved in Derbyshire’s sports clubs. Matthew is a brilliant local ambassador for this project.”
Inclusive clubs and organisations who have signed up to IMPACT, and will welcome new volunteers come from across the county, include Belper Hammers Volleyball Club (Amber Valley), Bolsover Bowls Development Group (Bolsover), Darley Abbey parkrun (Derby City), Long Eaton junior parkrun (Erewash) and Long Eaton Rugby Club (Erewash).
Others to partner with the project are Markeaton parkrun (Derby City), Matlock Bowls Club (Derbyshire Dales), North Derbyshire Chargers Rugby League (Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire), Poolsbrook parkrun (North East Derbyshire), Rosliston parkrun (South Derbyshire), Sailability Carsington (Derbyshire Dales), Scropton RDA (South Derbyshire) and Swadlincote parkrun (South Derbyshire).
You can view Matthew’s video on the importance of disabled volunteering, and get involved with the IMPACT project, by filling in an online application form at: www.derbyshiresport.co.uk/impact-project