Getting involved in disability sports from grassroots to professional level
Whilst, like all things in life, sport capability and adaptability is down to the individual, there are some sports which lend themselves well to empowering people who, for example, use a wheelchair. Disabilities themselves vary as much as the people affected by them.
Disability sports can range from fun in the local area to entry level competitions at the beginning and international competition level. National level competition can be reached relatively easily, if you practise at it, since it is less competitive. That’s not to say that you will not work hard at it. To succeed, one must apply themselves.
From a fun kick around to full competition, there are several organisations who can point you in the direction of finding inclusive sport in your area. Many wheelchairs have been adapted to ensure they move quickly, allowing for the greatest level of independence. Currently around half the number of disabled people to non-disabled people are participating in sport, and this could be much higher.
Organisations who arrange sport for disabled people
Here you can find a comprehensive guide to sporting events within your local area and Parasport offer different options based on your individual needs.
The British Paralympic Association (BPA) is a registered charity who select fund and manage the Britain Paralympic team, including talent scouting. If you’re ambitious and want to make it to the Olympics or Winter Olympics, these are the ones for you.
There are many other organisations who organise sports for people with all kinds of mobility, from everything including snow sports and places who recognise different disabilities. Scope offer a comprehensive list of these.
Sports to suit your abilities
The focus of sport for disabled people is finding something that matches your capabilities. To a degree, the sky is the limit, and like all athletes, you will be aware of what works best for you. For example, a sight impaired person may find some sports difficult and yet be excellent at archery and a person with cerebral palsy may prefer football to archery. Wheelpower have an excellent website which offer suggestions based on your abilities and you can then begin to look in your local area for groups supporting your choice of sport.
The important thing is the sense of belonging and challenge that is derived from joining in a sport, as well as the empowering act of doing something positive.