Month: January 2016

Disability Sport

Sport England recently carried out an in-depth survey into disability, the different impairments numbers in different areas of the UK, so we ask why aren’t there as many taking part in disability sport?

Almost 1 in 5 people in the UK are classed as having a disability, that’s just over 18 million people, and almost 70% of those fall into the over 50 age group.

So how many of these actively take part in disability sport?  According to figures produced by Sport England approximately 1.7 million disabled people are taking part in disability sports.

There are various reasons why people aren’t taking part in sports including:

  • Lack of access to local facilities
  • Lack of awareness of available sports
  • Funding and costs
  • Level of disability or being told you can’t do something
  • Fear of injury

Many may not be aware but Wheelchair Dance is classified as a sport and is governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and dancers (athletes) competed at the highest level for World Ranking just as in any other sport.

Wheelchair Dance Sport is widely practiced in Europe with countries like Russia and Ukraine leading the World Rankings.

In the UK, however, wheelchair dance is not so well known and classes are few for people to take part, not just to be able to compete, but also to dance socially and have fun.

Strictly Wheels Foundation are committed to raising the profile of wheelchair dance sport to encourage more people to seek out classes and take up the activity and to break down barriers of why people don’t take part in this social activity and sport.

SportEngland, despite the IPC governance, has yet to fully recognise Wheelchair Dance Sport in the UK which could open up many avenues for funding for clubs and athletes to progress and complete for Team GB.   With the right funding and increased awareness it would be fantastic if Wheelchair Dance could feature as one of the top disabilty sports in the UK.