Disability and Inclusion
Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre is committed to accommodating anyone from any background no matter what disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, age, religious or cultural belief or sexual orientation.
We try our best to open our doors to anyone who has an interest in outdoor pursuits no matter what economic or social background and will continue to improve how we operate and keep these activities accessible as it is at the heart of what we’re about.
Part of what we do to promote outdoor pursuits for all includes:
- Adopting a positive attitude to meet the needs of all participants
- Competitive prices overall throughout the Centre
- Lower Prices for school groups, clubs and charities
- Tax credit and voucher schemes for childcare provision
- Consistently applying for funding to give out free spaces on our Holiday Schemes
- Applying for funding to gain specialised equipment to adapt activities for different people’s
- Offer opportunities for people to get involved in outdoor pursuit through volunteering
- Send our staff on equity, inclusive and adapting outdoor pursuits training to raise the standard of activities for all users
- Organise fund raising events to raise money for people to use the centre that would not normally be able to
We also have staff constantly working to access funding for people to visit and take part in outdoor pursuits through the following schemes: Sport Unlimited, Sportivate, extended services, disadvantaged subsidy, Closing the Gap funding and summer school funding. Allowing people who wouldn’t normally get the chance to come and enjoy outdoor pursuits.
Part of our inclusive policy is to adapt sessions where possible to allow people with varying abilities to enjoy our activities. Please click on the following links to see what we can do on different sessions to adapt to peoples needs:
The nature of paddle sport is that it is very adaptable for all kinds of needs, there are a number of ways the activity can be changed to fit the needs of the participant.
Here are a few methods of how we can do this at LOPC, please note these are just some of the options you can choose from. If you do not wish to use these, we can help where needed to use the rest of our paddling equipment.
Access to Boats
LOPC has a variety of different canoes and kayaks to suit different needs. Here are some of what we have to offer:
A bell boat is a fantastic piece of kit that has inclusivity at the heart of its use. The idea of the Bell Boat is paddling for all. Virtually impossible to tip over, this boat is a very safe craft that can take up to 10 people on board. With ten people on the boat all working together, no matter how much you struggle with paddling the boat should still be able to get where you want it too, especially with an instructor on board.
The bell boat also has a large platform in the middle which you can sit on if you’d rather be away from the water, or you could use it to store kit/bags. It also provides an easy platform for the instructor or other staff members to move about and help different people.
Very much like a Bell Boat but just a bit smaller. Typically we would have up to six people in a KataKanu at a time. The seats are wider allowing more comfort, and there is a mesh running down the middle for someone to lie on if preferred. This is ideal for smaller groups or groups who want to split up a bit more.
A bit nervous at the idea of sitting in a canoe? What we
can do is attach the canoes together into a kind of catamaran shape. This creates a very stable platform that will be very hard to tip over. The other advantage to this is it means many of you will paddle together, which will make it easier to move. We can also arrange for the instructor to paddle with you. Canoes with wider/longer hulls are also an option, to suit different sizes and make your time on the water more comfortable.
Sit on Top Kayak
Where as normally you would sit inside a kayak, this you
can just slide yourself on top of it. Key features include:
easy to rescue, stable structure and tracks in a straight line easily. A great option if you require a hoist to get into a boat.
Positioned just on the side of the river we have a hoist we can use to help wheel chair users get in and out of the boats. One on at the canoe launch and another positioned at our kayak launch. There is also have a selection of slings you can use.
This makes getting wheel chair users and those with mobility issues in and out of boats safe and comfortable, helping them to easier access paddlesport. We also note that this is not necessary for all wheel chair users and will help as required if the hoist is not necessary
Nice simple bit of kit we can use to attach a paddle to someone. If somebody has limited or no use in one of their arms the attachment point can be used as a pivot point whilst
they paddle with the other
Paddle Fist Grips
These versatile pieces of kit can be used for both canoeing and kayaking. We have them in child and adult sizes. They fasten around the arm, hand and paddle to help the participant to keep their grip. These are ideal for people who have dexterity problems with their hands and struggle to grip objects.
Pictured to the right is a seat that can be strapped into a canoe to help someone sit in an upright position. We also have other options such as big padded cushions and softer backrests that don’t have inbuilt metal frames. There are other alternatives that don’t require additional equipment, for example sitting in the hull of the boat supported by someone sat behind, lying across the middle of the bellboat or working with someone else in a double sit on top kayak.
Fencing is a session that can be pitched at different levels. We can either go into lots of detail about the different parries and strategies, or we can keep it simple and focus on just being able to poke the opposing player and score a point. We have two sets of kit to use, you can either use our metal kit, or we have a lighter easier to use plastic set of kit or even the foam foils as well.
Wheelchair Fencing is a Paralympics sport, and there is nothing stopping us from doing it at Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre. As stated we can pitch it at different abilities to help you get involved and participate in this exciting competitive sport
If this is something you’d like to participate in please give us a call, tell us about the group you’d like to bring and we’ll do our best to tailor the session to suit your needs.
Archery is a very popular activity at Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre. It is slightly less physical than other activities, which already helps to make it more inclusive.
It can be done standing up or sitting down, which makes it very accessible for wheelchair users or other people with other mobility impairments, hence it being a Paralympics sport. We can provide a chair to sit on if needed.
– For indoor archery we have a wheelchair lift to help people into our sports hall.
– For our outdoor archery range we have a track that people can drive along to get there and back more easily.
– At the archery range we also have a compost toilet facility people can use, to save them from having to drive all the way back.
Whatever difficulties you may have we can still tailor the session to your needs. Our experienced instructors can adapt the aims or choice of games depending on what is right for the group.
Giving any extra assistance, only when needed.
This assistance can range from various coaching techniques and advice to physically helping them to pull back the string or hold the bow in place.
One particular way people may struggle with archery could be with gripping hold of the string and releasing. We have a couple of ways we help with this. We have a trigger system; this is a device that grabs the string, when you have pulled it back far enough a trigger system will then release the string shooting the arrow. The trigger can either be released by the archer or someone helping them. And if people don’t wish to use this, we can also simply use a cloth or any scrap material to wrap around the string and hold on to:
The top level of our high ropes is where you will find our highest Abseil, the Zipline and upper Aerial Trek. If you’re interested in booking any of those activities, just get in touch beforehand to discuss the access and support that is needed. There are three sets of stairs to get to the top of our high ropes tower, but a hoist is available if any assistance is needed.
Sitting alongside the high ropes course is our Wheelchair Abseil Ramp. This is essentially a smaller slope with a more gradual incline that is suitable for wheelchair users to try abseiling. We have larger harnesses that will fit around both the participant and the wheelchair to secure them together and on to the ropes.
We then have a simple pulley to hoist the wheelchair up the abseils slope. Upon arriving at the top of the slope we can then secure the participant, switch over to the abseil ropes, then lower off down the slope.
The participant can work with the instructor to lower themselves down. They will feed a rope through the abseil device while the instructor also maintains control with the safety rope.
You don’t have to be a wheelchair user to get involved, feel free to get in touch if you’d like to give this experience a go.
Assisted Tandem Abseil
This can be for anyone who is either nervous about heights or you just think will require that extra assistance and reassurance on our high ropes abseil tower. Physically going down with an instructor can be the difference in whether or not someone can complete the challenge, so
we can provide that assistance and help you to fulfil that ambition and raise self esteem andconfidence.
The photo to the right shows people can choose to either go down from the top or go through the door, (bottom right), which is a little
For people wanting to get out of their wheelchair and enjoy our high ropes they may find hanging around on the ropes uncomfortable after a while. Therefore we have put in these pads to prevent the harness digging in to your skin. The pads can velcro on and then position in places such as the legs, back and shoulders.
As an alternative to rock climbing, people can try out
rope climbing instead. With the use of our ropes pulley
system participants can climb to the top of our ropes
course purely on the ropes.
We have a cross bar that fits on to the rope, simply pull
down and you go up, then slide the bar up again. Or
alternatively why not just go hands on rope?
Participants can do this straight out of a wheelchair,
but you don’t necessarily have to be a wheelchair user
to take part.
State of the art changing facilities for everyone
We are proud to be part of the national ‘Changing Places’ scheme with our very own Changing Places toilet and shower room. This is an accessible facility that can be accessed by anyone who drops by via a radar key, or can be used by customers upon request.
The room itself has the following features:
The Right Equipment
- height adjustable adult sized changing bench
- full room covering track hoist
- height adjustable sink
- adequate space for a disabled person and up to two carers (3m X 3.5m approx)
- a centrally placed toilet with space either side
- a screen to allow some privacy
A safe and clean environment
- wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench
- large waste bin for disposable pads
- non-slip floor
Take a virtual tour of the facility:
The Changing Places Consortium launched its campaign in 2006 on behalf of the over 1/4 million people in the UK who cannot use standard accessible toilets. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy as well as older people.
In 2015 Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre was approached to have a facility on their site, work started in November 2016 to build the facility on the side of the changing block. The work was completed and opened in March 2017.
As a guide we have provided a summary to help you understand what activities are accessible depending on the needs the participant has.