Sports club survey shows gaps in participation for people with disability. The Sports Club Survey 2013 was the largest ever undertaken in the UK with nearly 3000 sports clubs across more than 100 different sports taking part. Data collected contained more information about disabled people’s involvement with a focus on the type of provision clubs offer this group.

An interesting point within the report concerned equipment. Often it is a common misconception that equipment for disabled people has to be different or is expensive, based on the belief that all disabled people may require sports wheelchairs.  However, statistics show that the majority of impairments are not visible and less than eight per cent of disabled people use wheelchairs.  As well, almost five in 10 sports clubs claim to offer inclusive provision for disabled people which research suggests is the most preferred setting for disabled people.

Among the key findings from the survey were:

  • Clubs that focus solely on disabled people have a staff to participant ratio of 1:3,  much higher than parallel clubs or inclusive clubs
  • Two-thirds of sports clubs said they did not have access to suitable equipment for disabled people to take part in their sport
  • Less than one in 10 of all club staff or volunteers have received training in adapting their sport for disabled people
  • One in three sports clubs and organisations have links with other organisations that could support them with disabled members

Image: Newcastle Sundance: Rhys Newton