The 22nd Workshop

December 6, 2016
Initiatives and Practice in Inclusive Sports in the United Kingdom - Strategies and Legacies of the 2012 London Paralympic Games -

The word "inclusive" has a long history, and is used as a concept that is the opposite of exclusion, or a situation where people of a particular social minority are not able to participate in society. In Japan, "inclusive" is generally understood as a concept that indicates symbiosis. Since Tokyo became the host of the 2020 Games, there is an expectation to realize an "inclusive society" in Japan, and "inclusive" initiatives and strategies in the 2012 London Paralympic Games are a useful reference.

At the London Games, universities contributed significantly as a base for inclusiveness in communities. This included opening libraries to people, with or without disabilities, from children to the elderly. Universities also made facilities such as gymnasiums available to the public, and made their facilities barrier-free. There were also active efforts to employ women and middle-aged and older people. In sports, there were initiatives in universal sports such as Inclusive Zone Basketball, where abled-bodied people and people with disabilities could play simultaneously.

Various people and organizations were involved in creating the London Games, but the strategies of the following five stakeholders in particular played a significant role in the success of the Games: (1) sponsor companies; (2) media (Channel 4, BBC); (3) government and organization committees; (4) disability sports organizations; and (5) organizations for people with disabilities. In the future, it will become important for these groups to unite beyond their organizations and to become involved with the media, companies, and the government.

To increase participation in sports in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, we must incorporate inclusive education. The Tokyo Paralympic Games can be used effectively to deepen understanding of people with disabilities and disabilities in general, and to realize an inclusive society.