New research published by WheelPower – British Wheelchair Sport, reveals the need for sports providers to offer more local physical activity and sport opportunities, which are accessible for wheelchair users.
The findings intend to assist local sports providers, national governing bodies of sport, county sports partnerships, and other sports bodies in their planning and delivery of activities, to meet the needs of wheelchair users.
WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport carried out a national survey into wheelchair users’ participation in physical activity and sport. The report titled Talk About Taking Part, includes responses from both wheelchair users who lead an active lifestyle and those who don’t currently take part in any form of physical activity or sport.
The report highlights:
- A lack of suitable opportunities (44 per cent of respondents) and lack of accessible venues (39 per cent) were identified as the top two barriers that can prevent wheelchair users from taking part in sport and physical activity.
- The cost of specialist equipment often needed by wheelchair users to take part in sport also continues to be a significant barrier.
- More than seven in ten (74 per cent) wheelchair users surveyed said they would like to be more active in the future.
- Just over half of survey respondents (54 per cent) travel for more than 30 minutes to take part in some form of sport or physical activity.
- Survey respondents (29 per cent) also highlighted that travelling distance can be a barrier to being more active – indicating a clear need for more local provision of suitable sporting opportunities for wheelchair users.
The report also highlights key survey findings about current participation trends, motivations and barriers to being active, as well as the activities and sports wheelchair users currently take part in, and what they would like to do more of in the future.
To find out more and to download the survey report click here.
Just a bit about me to start with; I live in Warwickshire, I am visually impaired and I just taken up para-cycling…which I am loving!
I am one of four children and growing up I was treated no differently.
In primary and junior school I didn’t take part in P.E or after-school
activities due to my visual impairment. And when I was encouraged, it was always very difficult.
My non-involvement in physical activity wasn’t a personal choice, but pure lack of understanding amongst teachers.
It was only when I started secondary school that the world of disability sport was introduced to me. I will always remember saying ‘I
want to have a go at that’!!
I quickly got involved in many different sports, after-school and additional training sessions. Since the age of 12 sport has ruled my life!!
Getting yourself active doesn’t just mean ‘get fit’. Yes it is good for your physical health, but also your mental wellbeing and for socialising, which I feel is really key for those with a disability.
It is all important for disabled people to engage with and encourage non-disabled groups/organisations to be inspired, get involved and learn from us, the experts.
Not every disabled person is a Paralympian but we all have a golden
opportunity to get active, learn something new and discover hidden talents.
For years I competed in dressage, but in 2014 I sadly lost my very special horse to ill health. It’s taken me 2 years to find a new sport. I didn’t realise just how much being active really meant to me, the boost it gives you and what a journey it has and can be.
Want to find out what is available in your area? Take a look at Information in Your Local Area pages on this website.
You can also follow Laura @TandemTurner to keep in touch with what she is getting up to.
This weekend saw the launch of the Get Out Get Active (GOGA) programme. Funded by Spirit of 2012 and established with a £47m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund, the programme brings together 18 GOGA localities across the UK and numerous national partners to support disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Developed to get some of the UK’s least active people moving more, GOGA will concentrate on fun and inclusive activities delivered over three-years.
For more information on Get Out Get Active click here.
Follow the conversation on Social Media with #GetOutGetActive