30 October, 2023 – Access Sport, the sport inclusion charity, has today announced a new partnership with Lex Leisure and Legacy Leisure to pilot a game-changing inclusive community sport offer centred around Leisure centres.  This partnership aims to develop a new national Inclusive Club Support model that recognises the important role of leisure centres as hubs for positive change in community sport.  Traditionally, leisure centres up and down the country struggle to engage with disadvantaged and disabled young people in their local areas. For example, only 17% of public leisure centre users are from deprived communities*. Understandably, staff are not typically experts in social and disability inclusion and often don’t have the tools to work with these young people. To tackle this challenge leisure providers are increasingly recognising the need to work in partnership with expert organisations. The team at Access Sport, who are widely recognised as leading experts in social and disability inclusion, have recognised this gap and are actively working with partners like Lex Leisure and Legacy Leisure to address this issue.  This pioneering project will initially be based in leisure centres in Derbyshire and Devon and will deliver social and disability inclusion training and development support to local community clubs.  The training will focus on building local connections with communities, upskilling coaches and developing new inclusive programmes. The project will then be reviewed with a view to creating a national offer that can impact the lives of thousands of disadvantaged and disabled young people. Helen Rowbotham, the CEO of Access Sport said:  “We are excited to be working with Lex Leisure and Legacy Leisure to pilot this exciting new concept. Working in partnership we aim to create a new Leisure Centre focussed Inclusive Club offer that will enable more children and young people to access the transformational benefits of community sport. These benefits include mental and physical health, life skills and prospects, a sense of belonging and community engagement.” Andy Farr – Strategic Director representing both Legacy Leisure & Lex Leisure said:  “Working in partnership with Access Sport provides us with a great opportunity to further engage and support our local clubs, with the aim of improving inclusion and providing a range of benefits for children and young people especially.” – END –