Inclusive sport and NDSOs

In 2011, in addition to EFDS receiving national partner funding from Sport England, the charity along with several of its member organisations (NDSOs- National Disability Sports Organisations) were pleased to receive further National Lottery funding.

The NDSOs are British Blind Sport, Cerebral Palsy Sport, Dwarf Sports Association, Mencap Sport, Special Olympics GB, UK Deaf Sport and Wheelpower. In 2014 at EFDS's AGM, LimbPower were also given NDSO status.

Some of this funding was to enable the NDSOs to support National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs) to deliver more opportunities for disabled people, through impairment specific sports development advisors. Also, funding was provided to review and improve governance, business planning, fundraising and membership activity in these organisations.

Each NDSO has an appointed advisor to look after the inclusive sport programme.

Amputee athlete


EFDS and the NDSOs have since developed an agreed collaborative approach that connects disabled people to NGBs interventions and targets. The five key strands of work that will support this purpose are:

Growth and engagement

To support NDSOs to develop strong partnerships with disabled people’s organisations, ensuring they are recognised as the leading strategic agency in the development and representation of physical activity and sport.

NGB connection

Establish clear interventions for NDSO partnership working, through the EFDS Sports Development Team’s relationships with priority NGBs. These plans will be a positive start to connect NGB initiatives and programmes into NDSO engagement and membership.

Wider sports development sector connection

Sport is delivered at a local level, so it is vital that EFDS and the NDSO’s work with the wider sports development sector at a local level. The EFDS sports development team have geographical responsibilities and work with key County Sports Partnerships to ensure they create strong partnerships with the disability sector at a county to local level and a clear understanding of NGB interventions at a local level for disabled people.  

Work at a national level with disabled people’s organisations needs to be linked into the local level too.  These disabled people organisations, where they have local membership and infrastructures, need to be linked into these mechanisms to ensure their membership and client groups can access NGB interventions and sports development work on the ground. The EFDS sports development team will continue to develop strong forums with the wider sports development sector.

Events and programmes

There are three main programme areas which can add value to more disabled people participating in sport and physical activity. These programmes can belong to NGBs- such as Big Splash and FA Mars Just Play. Secondly to EFDS/NDSOs- Inclusive Fitness Initiative, Playground to Podium, Disability Sport Events, Festivals of Sport. Or thirdly- disabled people’s organisations- Me 2 you and Yoodo Sports Campaign (National Deaf Children’s Society and Leonard Cheshire respectively).

NGBs, EFDS, NDSOs and disabled people’s organisations need a greater understanding of each other’s agendas and how to share programmes collectively at a local level to attract more disabled people.

The improvement journey

Throughout the collaborative working process, it is important for NDSOs and EFDS to want to improve continually as an organisation within its services and provision. To do this effectively, it should be recognised that this could be in several themed areas such as leadership, business planning and strategy, partnership working, resource development, fundraising, capacity building, performance measurement, etc.  Adopting the principles and using proven toolkits to support the improvement agenda will support NDSOs and EFDS in becoming effective and efficient organisations.

By working within these key strands, the Inclusive Sport programme will achieve the following outcomes:

  • Increased participation by disabled people in sport.
  • Increased satisfaction of disabled people with the sports offer (sports activities, facilities, access and experience).
  • All organisations will assess how their performance and what future results they are likely to achieve
  • All organisations and the sector will see stronger and more effective strategic and business planning, based on research, evidence and insight.
  • Achieve long term financial sustainability and resources effectively directed and managed.
  • The sector becomes more effective and efficient through a collective approach. Partnerships are proactively managed to help achieve individual and collective strategic goals.
  • All organisations will develop the capability to measure, review and improve performance.
  • All organisations will plan their people resources to achieve business strategy and meet the needs of its professional and volunteer workforce.
  • The project will ensure plans are developed to improve the organisation’s capability and EFDS partnership, resulting in sustainable, positive outcomes for disabled people and a self-improvement culture.

Our events page promote the opportunities available in sport and exercise through the NDSOs and other partners.

For more information on each NDSO, visit our partner page.
For more information on the Inclusive Sport programme, please contact Ray Ashley by email  or call 01509 227750.