When you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, chances are you’re going to get the reply footballer, dancer, race car driver – basically a lot of sport.
Sports personalities are seen as role models in society, you’d be shocked if someone claimed not to have heard of David Beckham or Serena Williams.
Getting the kids involved in sport is an important part of having a healthy lifestyle, and it should be encouraged wherever you are! Not only can taking part in sport boost physical health, but it can help develop useful skills for other areas of life, like teamwork and communication.
But, what happens when you or your children can’t take part in traditional sports? According to The World Bank, 10% of the world’s population has a disability. That’s more than 600 million people. If you take into account the families of people with disabilities, then at least 25% of the population are affected by disability. So how do we make sure the fun we’re having playing sport is inclusive?
Inclusive sport can cover a lot of ground and a lot of different courts. In a nutshell, it’s all about getting everyone feeling involved and included in sports, this could mean supplying equipment like Quest 88’s Inclusive sports equipment for a child with orthopedic issues in a dance class, to designing an exercise class that are safe for those with certain medical conditions.
Parasports, sport for those with disabilities, is on the rise. Over the past few years, a number of sporting organisations and some very popular competition circuits for individuals with specific disabilities have been cropping up across the country. It’s not just the Paralympics that are showcasing athletes with disabilities these days.
So, how can you get your family involved in inclusive sport? First roll out the welcome mat, friends, family, strangers who’ve seen you playing sitting volleyball down the local park, let anyone join in with your fun. After all, it is inclusive!
You’re not going to know what sports are out there if you don’t ask. The same goes with asking what sports everyone’s interested in! If you can’t pull your child away from the box when the football’s on, then maybe an adaptive form of football is the road to go down. Also, testing different sports could be beneficial, find a few that best suit you and your family.
Having the right equipment is beneficial whatever you’re doing. However, this isn’t just the usual balls, rackets, nets etc. whilst having those things will come in handy when setting up to play, the equipment you’ll need is more along the lines of specialist equipment or technology that is designed to help people with physical limitations to take part and enjoy sport.
The variety of adaptive equipment out there is very wide, so doing some research before diving straight in and buying the first brake levers you find could be a smart idea! Many clubs in sports that have more expensive equipment requirements, such as some wheelchair sports, will actually have chairs and other equipment which belong to the club which members can use rather than shelling out yourself.
Just make inclusive sports the new norm! Don’t name it alternative or different sports, just get stuck in and enjoy yourself with some wheelchair basketball or power football.