One of my biggest passions is sport, and football in particular. I never need much of an excuse to put on my boots for a kickabout so I was delighted this week when I got the opportunity to play football as part of my role as the minister for disabled people.

I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in the Mencap Inclusive Football Tournament, joining people with learning disabilities, Mencap colleagues, members of the Special Olympics, and staff from Arsenal in the Community, to help fight discrimination, social exclusion and a lack of understanding about learning disabilities.

The event was part of Learning Disabilities Week, which this year is focusing on sport and inclusion. The aim of the week is to bring together people with and without a learning disability through sport to break down barriers and help people feel more confident, healthy and a part of their community.

Mencap have highlighted that the number of people with a learning disability who are inactive is almost twice the national average. More than two thirds of people with a learning disability want to play sport in an inclusive setting, alongside their disabled and non-disabled peers. The good news is that the feeling is mutual.

I had a huge amount of fun at the tournament and it was a pleasure to meet everyone taking part. I have also been proud to support a number of local groups in Swindon, especially the learning disability netball group at the Dorcan Dome, which still ranks as one of my favourite visits as an MP. I have always been a passionate advocate of the power of sport so I’m delighted that people of all abilities are able to come together in this way.

People with a learning disability can also face discrimination due to the fact that their disability can be hidden. Not all disabilities are visible and I have been working with MPs from all parties to help raise awareness of hidden disabilities. Last week I responded to a cross-party debate on the issue following the campaign of a young girl who suffers from Crohn’s Disease who has experienced discrimination when using disabled services.

I have thrown my support behind a new sign which features three figures: one in a wheelchair, one with a prosthetic leg and another who has no visible disability. It is hoped to be installed in toilets, car parks and other facilities to improve awareness. This is a great example of cross-party MPs working together and achieving positive change, and I was really pleased to lend my support as the Minister responsible.

Looking ahead to next week, I will be proud to vote to make the UK the first major economy to legislate for a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. UK efforts to tackle its contribution to global warming have included phasing out coal power, supporting renewable technologies; and creating hundreds of thousands of low carbon jobs and growing our economy while reducing emissions.

Since 2010 greenhouse gases have reduced by a quarter, renewable energy generation has increased six-fold, and the UK is reducing emissions faster than any other G20 country. There is still a lot to do but we are right to be ambitious in this area.