PORTLAND COLLEGE CAMPAIGN: College launches £2m fundraising campaign to boost disabled sport

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Portland College needs your help to transform the lives of disabled people across the area by helping them raise a whopping £2m for a brand new sports academy.

College chiefs say the massive cash injection will allow them provide a state-of-the-art centre of excellence for disability sport and offer new opportunities from grassroots to elite level competitors.

The ambitious life-changing academy would also be open to the wider community through link-ups with disability clubs and sporting organisations.

Dr Mark Dale, Principal of the Nottingham Road College, said the scheme would give the local community a massive boost.

“It is a great time to be launching our appeal to build an ambitious state-of-the art centre for disability sports with the Paralympics still fresh in the minds and hearts of the public,” he said.

“The Academy will serve students at Portland College, local disability clubs, the great county of Nottinghamshire and beyond.

“We are already in discussions with National Governing Bodies for disability sport to support their training needs in the future.

“Ever since I came to the College in 2006 I felt we needed much better sports facilities.

“Our staff do an amazing job with very limited accommodation and importantly, we make all our sport fully inclusive, so no matter what the nature or level of disability each individual can take part in some sport.

It’s a great leveller and great motivator for our students. In most colleges about 25 per cent of students take part in sport during a typical week; at Portland it’s 85 per cent.

“Specialist facilities for disabled sports are pretty rare in Britain. This is a great opportunity to put Mansfield and Ashfield, as well as Portland College, in the forefront nationally and attract new business into the area as people come to competitions here and for expert training.”

The top quality academy would focus on wheelchair rugby, boccia, football, badminton and wheelchair basketball with individuals encouraged to access these sports for recreation and fitness, together with training to compete at all levels of sport.

David Winter, Sports co-ordinator at the College, said the current facilities were in desperate need of a major overhaul.

“We are very excited that plans for the new Inclusive Sports Academy are in place,” he said.

“Our current facilities are somewhat antiquated, yet we still enjoy superb rates of inclusion and participation from our students.

“The new sports centre will allow us to become the centre of excellence for disability sport in this part of the country and develop an enhanced sports offering.”

“Additionally, engaging with the local community and sporting fraternity will allow us to extend the range of vocational qualifications we can offer our students in sports and fitness, which will increase their employability skills and enable them to follow their desired career path.”

As part of the mammoth fundraising campaign college staff have already started raising money through a range of sporting challenges.

These include staff tackling the Three Peaks and the Total Warrior assault course and the inaugural Portland College Charity Cup, a football match whcih takes place at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium in May.

To find out more about the college’s plans to raise funds for the Inclusive Sports Academy or to discuss how you can get involved, contact Andrea Hudson on 01623 499141.

Donations to the Inclusive Sports Academy appeal can be made by calling the fundraising team at Portland College on 01623 499141 or by visiting www.portland.ac.uk or by cheque.

Donations can be made by cheque, payable to Portland College or via http://www.justgiving.com/portlandcollege
Are you planning a fundraising event to help this campaign? Email your story to newsdesk@chad.co.uk