A new study published by the European Commission aims to help sports organisations ensure those with disabilities are offered the best opportunities to engage in organised sports.
The Mapping on access to sport for people with disabilities
report aims to develop knowledge of best practice approaches in addressing the barriers people with disabilities face – and also offers information on the funding opportunities which are available to support such actions.
Outlining best practice – and solutions to "barrier busting" – across 11 EU countries, the report is one of the largest collections of information on the topic of disability sport participation.
The study also analyses three main benefits of sport participation for people with disabilities: personal health, individual development and social benefits, with a hopeful outcome of enlisting community leaders to promote the importance of sport opportunities for people with disabilities.
A spokesperson for the European Commission said: "There are an estimated 80m people with a disability in the EU – around 15 per cent of the total population – but disabled people are less likely to take part in organised sport than non-disabled individuals.
"The European Commission has therefore aimed to develop knowledge of ‘good practice’ approaches to addressing issues that may be preventing individuals with disabilities from engaging in organised sports.
"This report has collected information on the participation of people with disabilities in sport – to better understand the individual, social and environmental barriers that may make participation in sports more difficult for disabled individuals.
"Expanded opportunities and targeted funding – towards, for instance, more conveniently located facilities or better-trained professional staff – can thereby better equip individuals with the tools they need to join organised sports."Click here to download and read
the full report.