Accessible sports highlighted at John Charles Centre this weekend

Celebrating some of the city’s accessible facilities, venues and activities is at the heart of council plans for Disabled Access Day on Saturday (16 March 2019) this year.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council Executive Member for Learning, Skills & Employment, said:

“We are supporting this bi-annual event to celebrate where access is good and to raise awareness accessible transport in the city and also sports and leisure opportunities.

“We are holding an accessible transport exhibition on Briggate where people can check out an accessible bus, use the ramp and see what the bus is like in terms of access. We are also showcasing accessible taxis, private vehicles and our accessible minibus fleet.”

At John Charles Centre for Sport events on Disabled Access Day will include:

  • Try inclusive wheelchair basketball from 11:00-13:00
  • Try adaptive bikes
  • Boccia (like Bowls)
  • Adapted Table Tennis 13:00-15:00

Accessible toilet facilities make a huge difference to the lives of many people with disabilities and the event will also include the mobile changing places unit the council uses at events in Millennium Square such as Ice Cube and the summer concerts. This specialist toilet facility allows people with complex medical needs to attend and enjoy major experiences in Leeds.

The city also has 30 ‘Changing Places’ toilets inclusing the White Rose Shopping Centre and Hillside Enterprise Centre. Plans are under way to ensure they are situated where most needed and there is a commitment to install ones at Leeds City Museum and Leeds train station. You can search for Changing Places toilets locations here:

Other organisations attending include Connecting Leeds and Guide dogs, with the William Merritt centre for independent living bringing along equipment which can make driving accessible to many wheelchair users.

A shuttle bus service will run from close to William Merritt, where there is an open day, to John Charles where disability sports will be promoted, including wheelchair basketball, adapted bikes, table tennis and Boccia.

Anyone passing on Briggate will be welcome to find out more from the team demonstrating the equipment and will be free to take the shuttle bus to both John Charles and William Merritt.

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“Disabled Access Day was founded to make it easier for people with disabilities to try something new. We want to respond to the feelings of anxiety and fear that some disabled people experience when taking part in a new activity. We also want to show that accessible activities are easy to arrange.

“We are committed to being a compassionate and inclusive city, which is why accessibility is a really important issue for us. From transport to toilets and changing facilities, we have improved accessibility. Disabled Access Day is a great opportunity to share our progress. Disability access is a reality in Leeds rather than just an aspiration.”

Disabled Access Day began as a day to celebrate good access and to create opportunities for people to try something new. The day highlights the fantastic access that already exists in places, experiences such as going on a touch tour, enjoying a relaxed performance, sensory experiences, signed events, level access and of course a warm welcome.

More information about the event at John Charles is here:

More Disabled Access Day information can be found by clicking here.


This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council