All children can benefit from participating in sport at any level, and it is a fun and sociable way of improving their health. Some people may think there are barriers to playing sport with a disabled child, but there are many organisations that help children with disabilities to actively enjoy it.
Disability organisations often rely on volunteers to help at events, so the whole family can get involved – including parents and siblings – regardless of their age or ability. Clubs and groups hold regular events and activities that you can attend, often for free, and officers in the sports and leisure department of your local council will be able to provide you with details about specific sports.
How to get started
There are disability sports organisations throughout the UK that have websites providing information about events and the latest developments. These include the 49 County Sports Partnerships in England who work together as a network of local agencies to increase the number of people participating in sport and physical activity. The Sport England website has a dedicated area called “Active Places” that details facilities in your area, including local sports centres.
The English Federation of Disability Sport has produced a guide to help you find local events and opportunities, and it also details the many partnerships it has with national disability sport organisations.
National disability sports organisations provide support and information about specific impairments such as learning disabilities and mobility restrictions, including advice on equipment, coaching, events, and funding sources. They are also able to provide you with details of regional contacts.
Hold your own event
You can also organise your own event, like a sports day in your back garden. Invite friends and family and arrange games that everyone can get involved in. Having team stripes, such Adidas football kits available from sites like https://www.kitking.co.uk, invokes a sense of togetherness and helps children bond.
Dedicated disability projects
Many sports – including swimming, wheelchair basketball and football, to name a few – have dedicated disability projects. You can find a directory of disability football clubs in England, Scotland, and Wales on the Disability Football website, and keep an eye out for the Swim 21 logo, which is displayed by leisure centres that have a pool that caters for disabled swimmers.