The welfare of disabled people in sport

Authored by: Hayley Fitzgerald

Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367193256
eBook ISBN: 9780429201745
Adobe ISBN:


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Disabled people have long been recognised as a group marginalised from sport. Yet sport is perceived as a ‘good thing’ for all, an activity that non-disabled and disabled people should be able to positively experience. In attempting to expose disabled people to the benefits of sport, sports organisations have developed a range of policies and programmes to increase participation. However, engagement in sport can also pose a number of challenges, particularly in relation to welfare issues. From this perspective, questions emerge regarding how disabled people encounter welfare in sport and if welfare issues are heightened and/or different to non-disabled people participating in sport. In this chapter, I will connect these conversations about disability, sport, and welfare. I highlight how it is crucial that sports participants, including those with disabilities, be recognised as having fluctuating needs and circumstances and that nurturing sensitive and reflective practitioners will go some way to supporting disabled people to have positive, fulfilling, and safe sporting experiences.

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