The 23rd Workshop

February 23, 2017
The Social Significance of Inclusive Sport -Theory and Practice

In recent years, a surge in enthusiasm for the Paralympic Movement has resulted in a call for fairness in opportunity in sports, for all people to have the opportunity to participate in sports regardless of whether they are able-bodied or have disabilities. In addition to fairness, inclusion is also becoming important, and there is a need to build a society that continuously considers how communities can become comfortable environments to live in, where people with disabilities, women, and minorities can participate equally in society.

To ensure such fairness and inclusion, "schools" such as universities have an important role as a base for local communities. For example, at the University of Worcester in the United Kingdom, students who study the field of "Disability Sport" in lectures can deepen their understanding of people with disabilities, acquire relevant qualifications, and gain the experience of going out into the community and teaching middle and high school students. Furthermore, these lectures are open not only to students but also to teaching staff of local elementary, middle, and high schools and universities. The 2012 London Games became an opportunity for many people to begin participating in these lectures. Continuing such educational activities enables many people to experience sports for people with disabilities, and makes it possible to expand the circle of education and the circle of understanding of people with disabilities from universities into communities in an ongoing cycle.

In thinking about the Paralympic Movement, increasing each country's number of medals is important. However, it is first necessary to "change the awareness" of people with disabilities in society in each country. This can be achieved through ongoing dialogue with various people who are considered "other".