*James Murrihy. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography
Following almost a year of development work internally, Clare Sports Partnership has been awarded the Xcessible Bronze Award by national pan-disability sport organisation, Cara.
Xcessible has been developed to help support and empower national governing bodies (NGBs) and local sports partnerships (LSPs) to provide positive and meaningful opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in sport and physical activity.
Throughout 2020 Cara has been successfully piloting the Xcessible LSP/NGB Bronze Award with seven organisations: Clare Sports Partnership, Basketball Ireland, Swim Ireland, Badminton Ireland, Cycling Ireland, Mayo LSP and Kildare LSP. The seven organisations were guided through the Bronze Award under the headings of Openness, People, Activities, Facilities and Promotion, supported by Cara through each area and set realistic and manageable goals and deadlines.
Speaking about the award, John Sweeney, Co-ordinator of Clare Sports Partnership, said: “When we were asked to pilot this programme in December 2019, I knew that this was a nod to the important work that James Murrihy in our Sports Inclusion Programme has been doing over the past decade. I had no doubt that we would achieve the standard set by Cara. The achievement is testament to the dedicated work of all the staff and the board of directors of Clare Sports Partnership. Building a strong foundation for inclusion and nurturing the relationship with Cara has always been a priority for Clare Sports Partnership.”
Presenting the award, Odhrán Doherty, National Sport Inclusion Co-ordinator with Cara, said: “The panel was hugely impressed with your work under the five objectives of the programme and in particular the cultural change that you have achieved throughout the organisation in relation to inclusion. The panel was also impressed with the connectivity between staff and board members and also with the open conversations among staff that are now happening organically to plan and develop activities.”
In order to achieve the award, Clare Sports Partnership was required to provide evidence of its work and journey and presented to the Xcessible panel at the end of November on its experiences, results and the outcomes of work completed in line with the objectives of the Xcessible Award.
James Murrihy, Sports Inclusion Disability Officer (SIDO) with Clare Sports Partnership, said: “We are absolutely delighted to achieve the inaugural Xcessible Bronze Award. Thanks to Cara for their support throughout the process. I would like to thank my colleagues and the board for embracing the cultural and organisational change throughout the process and we look forward to beginning our Silver journey in 2021.”
Mr Ger O’Halloran, Vice Chair of Clare Sports Partnership, said: “The Bronze Award is a fitting result for the inclusion work being led by SIDO, James Murrihy, and being delivered by all associated with Clare Sports Partnership. It is great that we have taken the first steps towards the aim of Gold accreditation. It’s always crucial to have long-term plans that can easily complement the daily work of the staff on the ground.”
Clare Sports Partnership will now work towards the Xcessible Silver Award and beyond. For more information on our inclusive sports programme, please see www.claresports.ie