A SCHEME to encourage people with disabilities into sport has been launched.

With fewer than 200 days to go until the 2012 Paralympics, Durham County Council has unveiled Sportsability.

Its aim is to encourage as many people as possible to try a new sport or skill and meet new people.

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Councillor Maria Plews, Durham County Council's cabinet member for leisure, said: "What is particularly great about this initiative is that it taps into what is already on offer so if someone finds something they enjoy during the week they can keep it up."

Paralympics 2012 hopeful Lyndon Longhorne, 16, who is also a young ambassador for the Meningitis Trust, said: "For me, swimming has been life-changing and I really would urge everyone to try something new - you may find something you are really good at and that gives you lots of new opportunities in life."

There are a range of activities this week, includingwheelchair basketball, swimming, and zumbatomic To end the week, there will be a free junior Sportsability Festival on Friday between 10am and 2.30pm for youngsters aged between eight and 16 at the Freemans Quay Leisure Centre, in Durham City.

For full details visit durham. gov. uk/joinin