Of Three Different Target Groups

barriers of participation

Disabled

People with disabilities have much to offer the world of sport. As well as the top disabled sports people, 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 force barriers on disabled people. 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.


Facilities: One of the barriers to participation in sport is accessibility this is because many sport facilities don’t have the special accessibilities for example wider doors, or hand rails. Many sporting facilities don’t have much accessibility for disabled meaning that they won’t be able to participate in the sport/activities that the leisure centre provides. Many leisure centres haven’t thought about the disabled and how accessibility for them needs to be created as for example the leisure centre may not have that many disabled people going into their leisure and participating in activities they provide people. This will relate to the participation level of the sports development continuum this is because facilities is one of the most important when participating in sport. Without these facilities, the people wouldn't be able to practice to improve their skills or just to purely have fun. Furthermore, as disabled sports need more advanced facilities, this means that the costs will be more, due to the disabled sport specific needs. As a result, this implements a cost barrier this is because there is specific equipment needed within disabled sports and exercises. This will effect the participation level of the sports development continuum, this is because without these facilities, there won't be able to discover any talented people that are wanting to carry on to the performance level to compete. Moreover, this will affect the future participation levels this is because the participation level won’t be able to progress to the performance level this is because the facilities won’t be as advanced and also, there is a lack of role models in certain sports to influence athletes to push themselves to reach their certified goal. To overcome this, I would try and implement a scheme that helps disabled people participate in sport for example I would get multiple leisure centres to install equipment needed for disabled people. For a leisure centre, I would make sure there is a swimming pool hoist, changing facilities for people with disabilities, automatic entrance doors and low level reception counter. This ensures that the disabled people have the best experience they can with the top equipment being installed.


Social: Sports centres and clubs do not always 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 cost of taking part in sport. This barrier relates to the elite level of the sports development continuum, this is because in the media coverage of disabled sports in the UK is very low therefore this won't influence many disabled people to participate in sport. The

2012 London Paralympic Games was supposed to influence many people to start playing disabled sport. However, the backfired this is because "86% of clubs said they had noticed no change in the number of enquiries they had received from people with disabilities wanting to take part". This shows even with the coverage of varies disabled sports in the Paralympics, the participation levels are people starting sport stayed the same. This may be due to the fact that, "Only one in four clubs (24% of 150,000) said they had suitable facilities for people with disabilities to participate, suitably trained staff and the appropriate equipment to deliver this", indicating that clubs need some form of additional support in order to facilitate disabled participation. To overcome this I would make sure that, there are disability teams for a range of sports and elite coaches that can help the disabled athletes reach their goal and make sure they can be at their peak performance. This will help many talented disabled athletes to reach national championships and even the Olympics. As a result, we will see more disabled athletes being televised thus giving that disabled sport more popularity.


Tradition: 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 mixing of school pupils with disabilities into physical education lessons presents many challenges. Also disabled people may not be able to afford the cost of taking part in sport. This is because as previously stated three quarters of the disabled population rely on state benefits and do not have much disposable income. This will affect the participation level of the participation level this is because many disabled pupils within school have problems. This may be due to the fact that, the facilities within school aren't advanced enough thus not influencing disabled people to perform well in PE lessons. As a result, the disabled pupils won't be able to improve their ability in that certain sport, thus we will see less and less disabled GB athletes participating in the Olympics. To overcome this, I would make sure the all schools have appropriate equipment for able bodied people and disabled people as well. However, if the school does not have enough funds to pay for the special equipment that is needed, then the teacher should pay more attention to the disabled people. To do this, the teacher should try and plan session plans that involves exercises that the disabled can do as well. This will therefore help to motivate the disabled people to join in with these sessions and therefore the confidence will increase over time for all the disabled athletes.


Economic: Next barrier to participation is the cost and availability of adapted equipment this is because there is adapted equipment that is needed by athletes with a disability can have a major impact with their participation. For example a single racing prosthetic for a below the knee amputee with fitting can cost just under £5,000. This means that a disabled people wanting to become a sporting athlete or participate in sport will have to buy expensive ergonomically shaped equipment shaped to their body for example carbon fibre legs. This equipment can be very expensive and can cost up to £5,000. This may put disabled people off if they have a certain amputation and therefore he/she may not want to participate in such sports/activities that require expensive pieces of equipment. This will affect the participation level of the sport development this is because cost helps a lot when building facilities for sporting clubs. Without these facilities, there will be many complications for example there will be no where to train, this means that the coach wont be able to see who better or worse than other athletes in the team or individual sport. Additionally, accessibility is needed for disabled people this is because many sport facilities don’t have the special accessibilities for example wider doors, or hand rails. Many sporting facilities don’t have much accessibility for disabled meaning that they won’t be able to participate in the sport/activities that the leisure centre provides. I believe that there are many strategies for disabled people when it comes to economic. For example, there could be reduced/free prices, influencing people to participate in sport/exercise. Nearby leisure and gym facilities could have a free membership/price for a certain amount of days, to get all the people participating and then have a reduced price to keep disabled people influenced in taking up that sport/joining the gym. As a result of these reduced prices, there will be a more positive feeling for the disabled as they will be able continue participating without being under the influence of cost barriers.


Historical: There is fewer competition situations this is because there are relatively low numbers of disabled people taking sport in sport, especially competitive sport. This can have an impact on opportunities for people with disabilities to get involved and progress within a particular sport. Furthermore, this means that the disabled athletes will have a much less media coverage and therefore this will affect the publicity of that certain disabled sport such as blind football. Lastly, as a result of this, the Paraolympic games will get less money as there will be less media coverage of the certain sport and consequently many disabled people may be less confident with the sport and stop playing it. This relates to the elite level of the sports development continuum, this is because as there is a low percentage of disabled people participating in sport, this will mean that there will be fewer competition situations for the talented disabled athletes. Consequently, we will see less British athletes competing to win competitions and more foreign athletes competing. To overcome this, I would create a performance club that just allows county standard/close to county standard athletes. This will ensure that the top athletes reach the best they can, meaning that they will be able to reach elite level standards with elite level determined coaches that push the athletes to the max. This will help athletes to reach international level standard and this will create role models for the lower levels of the sports development continuum.


Analysis: The Sports Council aims to ensure equality of opportunity for people with disabilities to take part in sport and recreation at the level of their choice. They have seen main objectives:

  • To raise the profile of people with disabilities in sport.
  • To make sure plans for sport include the needs of people with disabilities.
  • To provide opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in sport.
  • To improve access to sport for people with disabilities.
  • To encourage involvement for people with disabilities in international sport.
  • To make sure sport meets the needs of people with disabilities.


I believe that this strategy will help many disabled people. This is because there is a range of aims that help to improve the participation of a range of disabled sports. Furthermore, the aim to improve the profile of people that with disabilities in sport will help many disabled people due to the fact that the sports will gradually gain more profile. Thus meaning that much more people will be influenced to join that sport/watch that sport on television.


This will the foundation level of the sports development continuum this is because many people that are disabled have different handicaps and therefore they will find it a problem participating in sport. Having this council will help many disabled people to start participating in sport/exercise whether its for fun or competition dreams, There will be advanced facilities and equipment that is needed and therefore this will help them to learn the skills within the sport. An example of this would be the wheelchair in wheelchair basketball, this has many adaptations for the athletes to aid the athlete and for safety as well. These adaptations can be very personal towards the player this is because "not one size fits all", therefore this makes every wheelchair different for every athlete.