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Including youth with disabilities in sport

Including youth with disabilities in sport

The three-year Sports Empowers Disabled Youth 2 (SEDY2) project began in January 2020, and aims to encourage the inclusion of sport for youth with disabilities.

The SEDY2 project encourages the inclusion and equal opportunities in sport for youth with a disability, by raising their sports and exercise participation in inclusive settings. The three-year project started in January 2020 and is inching closer to the finish line.

Understanding inclusion

As a starting point, it was essential to understand the meaning of inclusion in sport in practice for this group. Therefore, we conducted focus group interviews in Finland, Lithuania, Portugal and the Netherlands, and obtained the perspectives of youth with a disability, their parents and sport professionals.

In the end, seven themes regarding inclusion in sport were identified from these interviews. Some important components of inclusion include having a choice regarding sport, a sense of belonging to a group or team, having the same rights as others, and feeling equal and that everyone can participate in sport in their own way.

Parents and professionals stated that people have to acknowledge that everyone is unique, with or without a disability, and that inclusion is an ongoing process. Professionals added that the terminology regarding sport for people with a disability is challenging.

To make these findings usable and accessible for a wide range of individuals, this understanding of inclusion was translated into a video and inclusion statement

Translating research into practice

The findings of the focus group research and the expertise within the SEDY2 project team were also translated into practical materials to create more inclusion in sport for youth with a disability.

Together, these practical materials form the Sport Participation and INclusion (SPIN) tool. This tool consists of several practical instruments and interventions to help professionals provide inclusive sport opportunities for youth with a disability, such as:

Increasing access

In September 2022, there will be an online learning module to help understand and promote inclusion in sport for youth with a disability. 

We invite practitioners, athletes, parents and all of those interested to consult the materials.

To find out more, visit the SEDY2 website.

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Published

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 11:21

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