Sports development and disability

Authored by: Andy Smith , David Haycock

Routledge Handbook of Sports Development

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  December  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415479967
eBook ISBN: 9780203885581
Adobe ISBN: 9781134019717


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Over the last 30 years or so the promotion and development of sport, together with the increasing use of sport and physical activities as vehicles of social policy designed to achieve a range of other non-sport objectives, have become common features of government sports policy and sports development-related activity in many countries. This tendency has been strongly associated with the parallel tendency for government and other state agencies to become increasingly interventionist in setting the sports policy agenda and, hence, the sports development work that emerges from it. Although the steady increase in government and state involvement in sport has, to an extent at least, been accompanied by a comparable growth in analyses of that involvement and the changing nature of sports development activity more generally, little attempt has been made to examine the provision, development and co-ordination of sporting opportunities for one key target group of sports development professionals: disabled people. The objective of this chapter, therefore, is to begin to address this deficiency by examining some of the key issues associated with disability sports development. In particular, we shall consider how disability and the experience of impairment have been defined and explained before reflecting upon how this has come to inform the emergence and development of disability sport in Britain. Having considered the trend towards the mainstreaming of disability sport in the period since the 1990s, the chapter briefly examines the practice of disability sports development in local authorities in England and Wales. The chapter concludes with a review of the issues that are raised by our analysis and reflects upon the extent to which disability sport may be integrated into wider sports policy and development activity in the future.

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