I never take for granted the fact that I’m fortunate enough to able to take part in sport and exercise. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to walk, run, swim, cycle and generally move around independently. Since signing up for my swim with Aspire, it’s reminded me that debilitating injuries can happen to anyone at anytime. In fact, every eight hours someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury.
People living with disabilities still face many challenges to getting involved in sport, such as such as accessibility, transport, prejudices and financial issues. The findings of a survey by Parallel London revealed 69% of respondents with a disability faced barriers in accessing fitness and leisure facilities. People with disabilities can be made to feel unwanted and unwelcome at venues which are not designed with accessibility in mind.
The number of organisations and associations supporting disability sport has increased greatly in the past four decades, both at grassroots and elite level. Awareness of disabled people in sport is at an all time high after the Rio Paralympic Games, raising the profile of disabled people and shifting attitudes. Bristol Street Versa have created the below infographic highlighting the key athletes and campaigners involved with the development of disability sport.
Post written in collaboration with Bristol Street Versa who provide wheelchair accessible vehicles.