After thirteen years, we have made the decision to conclude all our work in this field when the current project ends on October 31st, 2023.

Aspire has led the sector in accessible and inclusive leisure facility and service since the Aspire Leisure Centre was built in the early 1990’s. Aspire was also the only leisure organisation with expertise in employing disabled people and launched 'InstructAbility' in 2011 to advance this practice across the sector. The EmployAbility Leisure Guides were published in 2022 as a way to share our expertise with the rest of the sector.

From the outset Aspire has been working towards an exit strategy and we feel the time is now right for Aspire to step away because the sector is catching up in many ways; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is now on the agenda in many organisations and there is greater public accountability for workforce diversity. EDI roles have grown rapidly in organisations and workforce diversity is embedded in more frameworks and strategies. Resources and systems are developing to provide support for organisations as they evolve.

The positive momentum is welcomed but there is still a long way to go, however we feel confident that the work can continue as a collective drive from the national partners and the Aspire team is proud to have played its part in pioneering this work. The Strategic Partner group consist of; Activity Alliance, CIMSPA, Community Leisure UK, EMDUK, Future Fit, Sport England, ukactive, UK Coaching, along with researchers and disabled people. Aspire will continue to share their expertise as an exemplar of inclusive leisure and a disability confident employer.

Aspire will leave a legacy from its work to date in the form of:

  • The many disabled people who have become fitness and leisure professionals and continue to influence the sector.
  • The EmployAbility Leisure Guides that provide evidence-based guidance for disabled people, training providers and employers.
  • The guidance on accessible and inclusive training embedded into CIMSPA's Quality Assurance Framework and Boundaries
  • A workshop video free to access online.
  • A CIMSPA endorsed E-learning course for tutors/teachers - available soon at Sport Structures.
  • A research report on the impact and how the sector is responding to the guidance, case studies and key recommendations for the sector. Coming soon. In the meantime we have captured a few words from SERCO , FutureFit and University of East Anglia.

And finally, huge thanks to Sport England and every individual and organisation that has supported the project over the years.