“People with disabilities deserve to have the same opportunities to be active as everyone else.”
– Niamh, Daffy, CEO, CARA
When COVID-19 rocked up on our shores. Many suffered, and we have lost loved ones as well as our old way of life. We’ve welcomed the vaccine, hurried in the boosters, and the restrictions have melted away. Finally, we are starting to get back to our new normal.
Living through the pandemic has thought us many things. One of them is just how important our physical and mental health is. A great way to focus on both is by practicing in sport, joining the local sporting programs, or jumping into GAA. Unfortunately, this is not the same for all of us. While we should all have access and be able to benefit from sporting activities, many disabled people face barriers that are difficult or impossible to overcome.
While COVID-19 is not yet a distant memory, now is the time to think and reflect on how we as a nation can make and focus on making everything accessible for all. How we, as a nation can make all sports inclusive.
Benefits of Inclusive Sports
A lot of the benefits from sports is overlooked. Yes, it helps keep our bodies fit but what about how it helps:
- Increase motor skills development
- Increase confidence
- Increase independence
There is, of course, benefits for our community as a whole by implementing inclusive sports too. We would see an:
- Increase in the appreciation of and acceptance of those with disabilities
- A better understanding of diversity
- Greater respect for all
- Development of meaningful relationships
- A significant increase in the access of and inclusion within other aspects of life
Of course, it can be difficult to achieve any of the above when there are still a number of barriers in the way.
Barriers to Reaching Inclusive Sports
In order to offer accessible sports to all in Ireland, we first need to address the following barriers:
- Lack of opportunities and programs locally
- Very few (if any) accessible facilities available
- Limited information on and access to resources
- Lack of awareness for those without a disability – they are unsure of how to proceed and involve everyone.
- Limited access to accessible transport
- Negative self-image and lack of confidence
- Little media coverage on role models to aspire to
If you are interested in helping to tackle the above barriers or to get involved in playing sports more inclusively, there is a great organisation here in Ireland, known as CARA. They are the national pan-disability sports organisation that provides a collaborative platform to help increase sport and physical activity opportunities for disabled people across the country.
One thing we can all enjoy together right now of course, if a hot cuppa that is accessible to all. Our very own Uccello Kettle which is part of our very own daily living aids range. Should you or someone you care for benefit from our easy pour kettle, you can purchase your very own right here.