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Sunday 01 September 2013

Research by Emma Spring


Understanding disabled people’s lifestyles in relation to sport. Defining current participation, preferences and engagement to provide more attractive offers in sport.


The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) is delighted to release its first research report to focus on disabled people’s lifestyles. The study was designed to understand what motivates disabled people in their everyday lives and how this relates to sport or exercise. It is the beginning of a longer programme of research which will enable EFDS to support sport organisations to offer opportunities for disabled people that are engaging, relevant and appropriate. Disabled people have the same right to be as active as everybody else, whether they want to make use of their local gym or become an elite athlete. But the starting point is listening to disabled people and using their response to build opportunities. That is why this report is a foundation for further work, more conversations and new ideas, which enable providers and other organisations to better understand disabled people’s needs. We are all aware that sport and exercise bring substantial benefits. These could be physical, psychological or social benefits, which enhance wellbeing and lifestyle. However, four out of five disabled people are not active on a weekly basis. Disabled people are half as likely to be active than non-disabled people. To boost participation figures, we need to ensure that opportunities are available to disabled people, but more importantly these meet the needs of the target audience. EFDS stress that disabled people are individuals with varied needs just like non-disabled people. This study allows us to first investigate whether there are any common motivation drivers, information channels or interventions, which certain groups of disabled people prefer. The findings show that disabled people do not always fall into the pre-conceived or pigeon-holed groupings defined for them. Within the planning and delivery processes, thinking outside the box for disabled people works in the same way as it does for anybody else.


Report findings based on a market research conducted in November - December 2012 by English Federation of Disability Sport. Report written By Emma Spring, on behalf of the English Federation of Disability Sport, In September 2013.