There are around 11 million disabled people in the UK. Only two in ten disabled people in England are currently active.
A recent survey of APCP members 'Sport as a Therapy Choice' revealed that physiotherapists have a very positive perception of sport and physical activity and the role it can play in the lives of children and young people with disabilities, but have limited access to training about disability sports, and a lack the knowledge and awareness of opportunities that are available for children and young people on their caseloads.
This Disability Sport resource will signpost readers to information about disability sports and where to find out about local opportunites.
In addition, a new online Disability Sports Newsletter for Paediatric Physiotherapists has been launched to provide regular updates about local and national sporting and active recreation opportunities for children and young people with disabilities in England.
National Disability Sport Organisations
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have their own national lead organisation for Disability Sports
EFDS was established in 1998 and is the strategic lead and umbrella body for disabled people in sports and physicla activity throughout England. EFDS works closely with a number of key partners to improve and increase the opportunities offered, ensuring disabled people have a memorable experience of sport and physical activity.
The Scottish governing and co-ordinating body of all sports for people of all ages and abilities witha physical, sensory or learning disability.
Disability Sport Wales work towards the aims of the Welsh Assembly Government by broadening the choice for disabled people to participate and be more successful in a more inclusive sporting landscape.
Disability Sports NI is Northern Ireland's main disability sports organisation and is recognised by Sport Northern Ireland as the key body responsible for the development of sport and physical recreation opportunities for people with physical, sensory and learning disabilties in Northern Ireland.
County Sports Partnership Network
County Sports Partnership network - provides information about County Sports Partnerships.
The ‘Your CSP’ option enables you to identify your local County Sports Partnership - each CSP has a Disability Officer.
Contact your local CSP / Disability Officer for information about clubs and events in your area.
Finding the right sport
Parasport is a web-based signposting tool run by the British Paralympic Association which provides information about sports and sporting opportunities for disabled people across the country.
The Parasport website has information on different disability sports as well as a search tool to help you to identify appropriate sports for individuals with specific disaiblities / impairments.
EFDS has also produced an information sheetabout sports and exercise for disabled people.
Further information about specific sports can be found on the each sport's National Governing Body's website.
In addition there are a number of National Disability Sports Organisations which promote sports for specific disability groups and information.
Find a club in your area
The following websites enable you to search for clubs activities in your area. If you are involved with a club that is not already listed, you can send in your details to have information upload free of charge.
- Parasport - club directory
- DotComUnity - is a directory of disability activities, events and services across the UK
Resources for clubs
- The Inclusion Club - international network for practitioners working in the area of inclusive physical activity and sport for disabled people
- The Inclusion Club Hub - a toolkit developed by EFDS to help clubs to include more disabled people in their activities
- Sports Coach UK - provides information for coaches and CPD opportunities
- Access for all: inclusive communications - a guide which has been developed to address the main communication barriers that many people experience in sport and physical activity
- Access for All: Opening Doors - a guide which has been developed to support sports clubs to improve physical access for disabled people
- Sainsbury’s Active Kids for All Inclusive Community Training Programme information - low cost training for support workers, parents, carers, healthcare professionals, volunteers and community based groups and organisations to improve skills, know-how and confidence in delivering sports based activities to disabled people
Resources for schools
- Sainsbury’s School Games Inclusive Competition - information about the inclusive opportunities available through the Sainsbury’s School Games
- Top Sportsability - an inclusive activities programme developed by the Youth Sport Trust in partnership with NGBs to engage young disabled people in PE and school sport and support their first steps into School Games activity
- The Youth Sport Trust Sporting Chance - information on how the Youth Sport Trust develops opportunities for those with special educational needs and disabilities
- Sainsbury’s Active Kids for All Inclusive PE Training Programme - free training for teachers, teaching staff, trainee teachers, classroom assistants, learning support assistants and special educational needs co-ordinators to ensure all pupils are engaged and make good progress in PE
Wheelchair skills training enables young wheelchair users to maximise their independence, and physical activity.
The following organisatons provide free wheelchair skills training:
Momentum Magazine is a new magazine specifically aimed at the UK's sport for disabled people community.
Momentum will provide content on all areas and levels of Sport for disabled people, from beginners all the way through to elite standard. With up to date topics and features including, upcoming events, health & fitness, coaching, how to get involved with sport & many more.
The Momentum Magazine website contains a lot of useful information about Disability Sports and events.