Go All Out: Ireland’s First Ever Outdoors Week for People with Disabilities

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Rugerio Cunha, Philip Quinlan and Patrick O Reilly

Cara’s Inaugural Go All Out Week is set to inspire people with disabilities and professionals working in the outdoor sector to understand the value and to see the opportunities that are available to them in their local communities. Outdoor activity providers across Ireland are being asked to get involved in what is Irelands first ever Inclusive Outdoors Week to help create more opportunities for people with disabilities to be active in the outdoors. The week is also an opportunity for people with disabilities to understand the value of participation in the outdoors and how they can access the activities and amenities locally.

“Outdoor recreation is an important and meaningful activity that carries numerous health benefits for everyone. The Go All Out week was developed to raise awareness, access, and opportunity for people with disabilities to participate in outdoor recreational activities within their local communities. We are calling on all outdoor activity providers to get involved, open up their activities and promote opportunities for people with disabilities. We are encouraging people with disabilities to challenge themselves to try new activities during this week.” says Niamh Daffy, CEO of Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland.

 

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At the launch of Go All Out Inclusive Outdoors Week – Rugerio Cunha, Philip Quinlan and Patrick O Reilly with Niamh Daffy, CEO Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland, Dr Una May, CEO Sport Ireland and Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers

Go All Out week has been developed by Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland supported by Sport Ireland Outdoors to increase awareness among people with disabilities, their families/carers and outdoor activity providers on the benefits of regular exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and opportunities to participate in physical activity, of people’s own choosing in the outdoors. Organisations and individuals are being invited to host inclusive outdoor events nationwide during the week. It could be hiking, walking, running, swimming, canoeing, cycling, fishing gardening, or even just strolling or rolling on the beach.

Go All Out also aims to increase the awareness and build the capacity of outdoor activity providers to be more inclusive and understanding of their provision of accessible and inclusive programmes for people with disabilities in their local community. Through the delivery of the week, Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland will provide inclusion training to professionals that take part in the week in order to increase their level of knowledge and skill in the area of disability and inclusion.

At the recent launch of our Go All Out Week in Merrion Square Dublin, Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers said “The last two years has shown us how important the outdoors is for our physical health and mental wellbeing and Cara’s Go All Out week is an excellent opportunity for people with disabilities and their wider circle of families and carers to learn what outdoor activities are available in their locality. I greatly welcome the initiative which mirrors the Sport for All approach of ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to equally partake in sport and physical activity regardless of ability, age or status.  I would like to thank everyone involved in developing this inaugural event and strongly encourage all outdoor activity providers to embrace this opportunity and develop a diverse programme of outdoor events that is inclusive and accessible to all.”

To champion the week, two high profile outdoor enthusiasts have become ambassadors to highlight the importance of the week. Nikki Bradley, adapted adventurer and Jack Kavanagh, motivational speaker.

Nikki Bradley is an adaptive adventurer and one of Ireland’s leading female motivational speakers. Nikki was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer at the age of 16. She is the founder of ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s,’ which aims to increase awareness about the disease as well as participating in physical challenges. She has climbed The Sturrall in Donegal, which is one of Ireland’s most outstanding sea cliffs and abseiled off it. She also completed the Fan Dance, a gruelling 24km trek through the snowy Brecon Beacons in Wales, all while relying on crutches. On the 7th of February 2022, Nikki had a rare type of surgery called a Rotationplasty. This is a form of amputation. She is currently working with specialists who are developing a prosthetic leg that will allow Nikki to live her life pain free.

Jack Kavanagh, who acquired a spinal cord injury in 2012 which left him with 15% muscle function. In the following years Jack has challenged the limits of his situation and increased awareness of the value of health & wellbeing as drivers for performance coupled with cultivating diverse & inclusive environments where people belong and are valued. Jack s well-known for his acclaimed TEDx talk ‘Fearless Like A Child, Overcoming Adversity.’ Jack is host of the ‘Only Human Podcast’ and sits on the board of directors of the National Disability Authority and Center for Excellence in Universal Design as well as the leadership development organisation Common Purpose Ireland. Jack has also received several international awards for his documentary ‘Breaking Boundaries.’ He is a keen hand cycler and can be seen on Instagram sit skiing down snowy mountains at ferocious speeds.

The Go All Out week will run nationally from the 18th to the 24h July 2022. The week will include online webinars, personal stories from people with disabilities and up to date information of activities that will be happening around the country.

Full details of the week and the participating professionals and activities are available here.

Register

If you are an outdoor activity provider and want to get involved by hosting an inclusive activity/programme, register here.

Click here to register