CARA Sport Inclusion Ireland is now Active Disability Ireland

Minister Byrne Launch Photo
Minister Byrne and stakeholders holding new strategic plan at launch

Barretstown Castle hosts celebration of 15 years of Cara as they launch bold new identity

CARA Sport Inclusion Ireland today celebrated the launch of their five-year Strategic Plan by revealing a bold new name and brand identity.

Now known as Active Disability Ireland, the organisation’s vision is to build an Ireland where people with disabilities have equal opportunities to be active. Under the new name, they remain committed to helping to build a more inclusive society to empower, encourage and support people with disabilities to be more active with whom they want, when they want and where they want!

Supporting the launch, Anne Rabbitte T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, said: “Active Disability Ireland recognises that everyone has the right to participate in physical activity and it is a privilege to help launch their new name and brand identity along with an ambitious five-year strategic plan. The focus is shifting now to providing greater access to physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities across Ireland and I am proud to commit to working with Active Disability Ireland in identifying a sustainable funding stream that will assist them in this most important and valuable venture. I look forward to working closely with the team and to be part of a movement towards a more inclusive future across all sectors of society.”

In consultation with people with disabilities and stakeholders, rebranding as Active Disability Ireland will enable the organisation to create and foster new relationships, leading to sustainable participation pathways across sport, health, education and the community sector.

Active Disability Launch
Group picture at lake in Barretstown

Niamh Daffy, CEO of Active Disability Ireland, said: “This is a very exciting day for our organisation as we celebrated 15 successful years of Cara and look forward to an exciting future as Active Disability Ireland. Developing an insights led strategy was a priority for us. We really wanted people with disabilities to be at the heart of our thinking, to influence and shape our priorities by understanding the everyday barriers they face and identifying the solutions that can have the biggest impact on their access to, and lifelong enjoyment of physical activity and sport. We’re thrilled to have continued government support, including Minister Rabbitte and the presence of Minister Byrne here today proves we’re on the right path as we set out to achieve ambitious goals over the next five years with the goal of creating equal opportunities for all people with disabilities to enjoy active lives.”

Active Disability Ireland will work hard every day to live their values and behaviours by listening to people and our partners, by being creative and open minded and bold in their approach and by leading from the front as they challenge exclusion and use physical activity and sport as the catalyst for change to create a fairer society for people with disabilities.

As detailed within their new strategy, Active Disability Ireland is proud to continue their long-standing partnership with Sport Ireland, whilst also working with Irish Government, Local Sport Partnerships, and the National Governing Bodies of Sport to continue to support the ambition of the National Sports Policy target of reducing the gradients within sports participation with, as you would expect, a laser focus on the impact we can make for people with disabilities.

Active Disability Launch
Children playing golf at lauch event

Speaking at the event, Thomas Byrne T.D., Minister for Sport and Physical Education said: “I would like to congratulate Active Disability Ireland on the launch of their new strategy today and thank them for their significant contribution to sport for the past 15 years. Their leadership on the Xcessible Programme for Local Sport Partnerships, National Governing Bodies and clubs, in addition to their high quality inclusive training offerings, has had a significant impact on increasing awareness, access and opportunities for people with disabilities across the sports sector. I look forward to continued collaboration with Active Disability Ireland on providing opportunities for people with disabilities to be more physically active.”

Extending support and influence across other sectors such as health, education, and the wider community is a key target for Active Disability Ireland. Central to this will be the continued partnership with the Health Service Executive who have been instrumental in supporting us to develop new and innovative programmes within disability services across Ireland.
‘We want to challenge existing and new strategies and policies across the health, education, and community sectors to adequately reflect the needs, aspirations, experiences and challenges of people with disabilities in physical activity,” Daffy added.

Jon Morgan, Chair of Active Disability Ireland, said: “I am extremely proud of this organisation, the pivotal role it plays within the physical activity and sports sector and the impact made since its formation. Under a new inclusive and ambitious brand, this organisation is built on solid foundations and has a great future underpinned by an insights led strategy, co-produced with people with disabilities. It’s been an honour to lead the Board of Directors and wonderful team in the development of a new strategic plan and refreshed brand that’s finally out in the open today!”

Active Disability Launch
Minister Rabbitte and participants rock climbing at launch

Event host, Nikki Bradley, Ambassador for Active Disability Ireland, cancer survivor and adaptive adventurer, spoke of the importance of an active lifestyle: “The importance of an active lifestyle is often underrated and as someone with a disability I can say it’s become a vital part of my life – both physically and mentally. It’s great that Active Disability Ireland have built this strategy and vision on a strong consultation with people with disabilities, and widening their approach to include other sectors of society outside of competitive sport. Everyone deserves an opportunity and I firmly believe this plan will make a significant and positive contribution to Ireland.”

For further information about Active Disability Ireland and to view the Strategic Plan 2023-2027, visit https://activedisability.ie