New research calls for better opportunities for young disabled people to prevent later life inactivity

New research Active Beyond Education? highlights a clear need to engage disabled people in sport and physical activity at a young age. The report was produced in partnership and illustrates some of the ways to prevent a decline in participation as people move into adulthood. The findings will support educators, healthcare professionals and sport providers to deliver more accessible activities for young disabled people.

The report highlights:

  • Young disabled people can struggle to take part in sport and physical activity due to a deterioration or change in their physical condition.
  • Young disabled people often lack ‘life skills’ such as confidence, independence and resilience. These skills can be crucial in enabling them to seek physical activity opportunities outside of the school environment.
  • Participation in sport and physical activity is dependent on the available opportunities meeting a young disabled person’s motivations to take part. These motivations can often change during the transition from education to adulthood.
  • A number of key external factors impact a young disabled person’s opportunity to engage in sport during the transition period. These include access to sport inside and outside of school, support received from family and friends, availability of adaptive support, equipment and other resources. 

Sport England Director of Insight, Lisa O’Keefe, said:

“Given the overwhelming benefits to being active, it’s important that sport and fitness remains a practical choice for disabled people, at every stage of their life.  This new research offers a helpful view of young disabled people’s experience of sport and fitness, and practical suggestions on how to build exercise into our lives.”

To read the full report click here.


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