FOUR in 10 people with disabilities don’t feel confident enough to participate in sporting events, according to research.
Of the 700 disabled adults polled, 30 per cent believe the events do not cater for those with additional needs.
And 56 per cent felt they wouldn’t be seen as a priority when it came to participating.
Almost one in five (17 per cent) also feel they lack the support network needed to take part, while 16 per cent were held back by the cost of entering events.
But 12 per cent feel inadequate representation in sporting events is a barrier, with 54 believing access to trained volunteers would give them the confidence required to take part in mass participation sporting events.
To help encourage participation, Nissan GB, the official partner of the Great Run Series which commissioned the research, is working with The Richard Whitehead Foundation to help make running events more inclusive by providing support and encouragement to disabled participants.
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Gold-medal winning Paralympian, marathon runner and Nissan GB’s diversity, equity and inclusion ambassador, Richard Whitehead, said: “Disabled people feel they aren’t confident to enter sporting events.
“As a Paralympic athlete and distance runner, I feel it’s something we should change.
“Whatever the race, whatever the distance, it’s always a chance to give back to the running and disability community.”
“Growing up and throughout my career I’ve witnessed the challenges that disabled people face in order to take part in sporting events, so I’m delighted to work with Nissan GB to help remove some of these barriers.”
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The study found the average disabled adult exercises for a total of just under 76 minutes each week, over four sessions.
And 39 per cent consider exercise as something they are passionate about.
When it comes to sports they’d most like to test themselves in, swimming topped the list (22 per cent) followed by a half marathon (18 per cent).
Others would like to take part in a grassroots or local football tournament (17 per cent) or a CrossFit event (12 per cent).
But the study, carried out via OnePoll, found two thirds of disabled people believe there aren’t enough televised disability sporting events.
And 53 per cent want the government to do more to encourage sporting events for people with disabilities.
Whitehead added: “Sport should be accessible to everyone, so It’s exciting that we can pilot the Supported Runner Project at the AJ Bell Great North Run this weekend and the AJ Bell Great South Run in October, ahead of our full launch in 2024.”
Source: Athletics - thesun.co.uk