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We can do more to foster disability and inclusion in sport – Conway

26th September 2018 - Senator Martin Conway

We can do more to foster disability and inclusion in sport, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Clare based Senator Martin Conway is today (Wednesday) putting forward a motion in the Seanad calling for greater effort in ensuring that those with disabilities are able to actively engage in sport.

Senator Conway said: “This motion aims to highlight how important access to sport is. Sport improves your mental and physical health, helps create a sense of belonging and community and even pride with sporting success.

“But we also need to recognise that for those with disabilities there are increased barriers and costs to access sport.

“My motion is calling for those difficulties to be acknowledged and for steps to be taken to ensure there is a move towards inclusion of those with disabilities in sporting organisations and facilities.

“This can be achieved through the linking of future funding grants with disability and inclusion targets, the roll out of disability inclusion training, the building of multi-functional & disability friendly sports facilities and greater access to specialised equipment for schools,” the Clare Senator said.

Senator Conway’s motion calls on the Government to:

  • encourage main stream sporting organisations to be more inclusive of people with various disabilities in their clubs and activities;
  • ensure that funding to the National Governing Bodies of sporting organisations is subject to verifiable targets of inclusion of people with disabilities;
  • ensure that future use of the Sports Capital Grants or other similar funds does not only benefit one club or sport but has a more integrated sport focus which takes into account the wider needs of the community with a particular emphasis on disability;
  • ensure that state run leisure centres and sports facilities are fully accessible and their staff have all received disability inclusion training;
  • ensure that schools have ease of access to specialised equipment to enable students with disabilities to participate alongside their classmates;
  • to increase efforts to address inequalities in sports participation, particularly at a local level and amongst adolescents with disabilities.

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