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Barriers Affecting Disabled People in Sport

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Introduction

Barriers for Disabled People in Sport People with disabilities have much to offer the world of sport. As well as the top disabled sportspeople, there are many ordinary disabled people who can and do benefit from sport. Sport allows everybody to stay healthy and to meet people. However, people with disabilities do face serious obstacles to participation in sport. Society continues to discriminate against, handicap and impose barriers on disabled people. Also it is interesting to know that as much as three quarters of disabled adults rely on state benefits as their main source of income they are also financially disadvantaged, which multiples barriers to participation. The 'disabled' are not all the same, but a mixture of people with a range of disabilities including deafness, sight impairment, amputation, paraplegia, cerebral palsy and learning difficulties. Elite athletes with a disability competed for the first time for medals in the Commonwealth Games in 2002, but much more still needs to be done if disabled people are to enjoy the same sporting opportunities as the rest of the population. A survey taken out by Sport England in the same year reveals that people with disabilities must overcome significant problems if they are to enjoy anything like the same access to sporting activity s the non-disabled population. ...read more.

Middle

Organisations, which are developed by and for non-disabled people, are now seen as the main sources of discrimination. Identifying the Barriers It is not always possible for disabled people to go to events. Transport to facilities may be difficult. This is because venues may be too far away for them to travel and modes of transport for them are limited, depending on their disability. There may not be suitable doors and ramps at entrances to buildings. Modifying buildings for disabled people can be expensive, so therefore most buildings lack correct access. Also plans for facilities, funding and events do not always take account of needs of the competitors and spectators with disabilities. Sports centres and clubs do not automatically make provision for everyone, including people with disabilities. Governing bodies do not usually hold events for disabled people within the able bodied championships. People with disabilities may have had little opportunity in the past to develop their sporting skills. This is because integration of school pupils with disabilities into physical education lessons presents many challenges. Also disabled people may not be able to afford the coast of taking part in sport. ...read more.

Conclusion

The scheme is aimed at developing quality community based sporting and recreational opportunities for disabled people throughout Wales. The programme is promoted and delivered through a network of Disability Sport Wales Development Officers located across every Local Authority in Wales. Disability Sport Wales aims to create new clubs and give professional advice and support to improve existing clubs, increase the number of disabled people who actively participate in sports clubs, groups and sessions. Also to improve the quality and number of coaches and volunteers within disability sport through coach education and other systems and create new and further develop existing opportunities for disabled people to compete in sport at local, regional and national level. Another of their aims is to work closely with the Federation's National Performance Manager ensuring that individuals with potential are given the opportunity to train and, where appropriate, compete to the highest standards. Another of their 'missions' is to ensure that Wales maintains the Nations current medal winning achievements and continues to support and contribute toward Great Britain Teams in Paralympic, Deaflympic and Intellectual Disability sport They aim to do this by delivering an athlete centered programme ensuring that elite athletes reach their full potential at the very highest standards of performance within disability sport. ...read more.

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