Empowering clubs to positively and meaningfully provide opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in sport and physical activity.

Sport and physical activity play such an important role in peoples’ lives, contributing positively to their physical, mental and social wellbeing.

“If I did not have my sports, then I would lead a very lonely life.” (Cara Survey Respondent)

Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland, recognise how valuable participation sport and physical activity can be for people with disabilities, whether that be through playing, participating, volunteering, coaching, officiating etc. there is a role for everyone in their local sports club.

“I have a wheelchair. It doesn’t mean anything other than that, I’m a grown up. I’m a woman. I’m a mom. Allow me to define what I can do and then help me to do it.” (Colette, Cara Survey Respondent)
Cara with the support of Sport Ireland, have developed an Xcessible Club Toolkit that will help sports clubs across the country become more inclusive. The toolkit is a guided resource that will empower clubs to positively and meaningfully provide opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in sport and physical activity at a local level.

Unfortunately, people with a disability are often underrepresented in sport. Research from the Irish Sports Monitor (2019) suggests that people with disabilities in Ireland are less likely to be involved in Sport. Just over a third (35%) of those who have a disability in Ireland are involved socially in sport as club members, volunteers, and /or regularly attending sports events, compared to half (50%) of those without a disability.

Much of this difference comes through differing club membership levels between both groups. While two-fifths (40%) of those with no disability are members of a sports club, just under a quarter (24%) of those with a disability are club members. Given the gradients that exist for people with disabilities within sports clubs, additional guidance and support is required for sports clubs to ensure that they can proactively plan for the inclusion of people with disabilities within club life.

“Exercise, it’s a human thing. If you want to exercise, regardless of what your body looks like, whether you have an impairment or not, that is your right, you should be able to do that without these extra barriers in your way” (Sarah, Cara Survey Respondent)

The Xcessible Club Toolkit aims to support sports clubs to facilitate the many benefits that people with disabilities can enjoy within their community such as; belonging to a group, the opportunity to volunteer, to make new friends, to learn a new skill, to develop leadership & coaching expertise as well as improving social, physical and mental wellbeing.

Through the implementation of the Xcessible Club Toolkit, Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland aims to support clubs to ensure that they feel empowered to proactively plan and build capacity within their club. This will ensure that more people with disabilities are actively involved in sport and physical activities at club level in their local area and in multiple roles.

The toolkit and supporting resources are available at www.caracentre.ie

Download the toolkit now and see how simple it is for your club to become more inclusive.

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