Inclusion in sport
Everyone living in Australia should have equal opportunity to participate in community sport in an inclusive, supportive and safe way. For people with disability, inclusion in sport can happen in a number of different ways.
Everyone living in Australia should have equal opportunity to participate in community sport in an inclusive, supportive and safe way.
For people with disability, inclusion in sport can be achieved in many different ways. Often, people think that inclusion in community sport may just mean that a person with disability is welcomed to join the existing sporting framework, however, community sports are encouraged to provide a variety of adjusted programs tailored specifically to people with disability.
Sport has a way of bringing people together regardless of their many differences. Sport empowers people, builds a community and a sense of belonging, and provides avenues to set and reach goals.
For people with disability, becoming involved in sport can be a fantastic way to push themselves in a safe environment, meet like-minded people from various walks of life and build physical, social, cognitive, emotional and leadership skills.
It is now easier than ever to find a local sporting club or organisation that provides accessible activities and events for people with different abilities. If you don’t want to participate as an athlete, there are many other ways that you can get involved. Consider volunteering to help out as a coach, a committee member, an admin member, an umpire or referee, or simply as a supporter.
Having a framework and processes in place to ensure that sporting organisations are in fact accessible to all Australians is vital. If you’re looking to join a local club, here are some of the guidelines you should expect sports to be following or willing to implement.
The Inclusive Sport Toolkit developed by the Australian Sports Commission has been peer reviewed by academics and experts in the field and is an excellent resource for grassroots through to elite sporting organisations in Australia.
The Toolkit includes:
The Australian Sporting Alliance for People with Disability was founded after the Australian Sports Commission brought together leaders from across the disability sport sector. Together, they co-designed a shared vision for the future of disability sport in Australia and formed an Alliance to better serve the disability sport sector.
The ASAPD vision is that all Australians have an opportunity to engage in sport and physical activity in a welcoming and inclusive environment.
Get Skilled Access was founded by Dylan Alcott and is an organisation that promotes and facilitates disability inclusion.
Get Skilled Access (GSA) were recently granted $2 million from the Australian Government to support a program to create participation opportunities for people with disability in schools and community sporting clubs.
GSA have a range of great resources available on their website, from online training through to disability inclusion action plans and immersive workshops.
The WILD Collective is a program developed by Get Skilled Access which aims to bridge the gap between competitive sport and leadership positions for women with disability. They recognised that there is a huge lack of women with disability in government and sporting organisation leadership positions and have developed a program to solve it.
There are two arms to the program; one for women with physical disability and one for women with neurological disability. Both programs equip women with the skills, experience and confidence they need to excel in roles within the sport industry.
To learn more about this fantastic program, visit the WILD Collective, here.