Sport Ireland Launch Policy on Participation in Sport by People with Disabilities

Sport Ireland today launched its new Policy on Participation in Sport by People with Disabilities.

The policy, which explicitly sets out Sport Ireland’s position in relation to the participation in sport and physical activity by people with disabilities, was launched during the National Seminar for Inclusion which took place in Dublin today.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, welcomed the publication of the policy: “Everyone, no matter what their background or circumstances, should have the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity at a level of their choosing. In the publication of this policy Sport Ireland demonstrates its commitment to ensuring the number of opportunities to participate continues to increase. I would like to commend all involved with the production of this policy.”

In 2017, Sport Ireland has invested over €3.5 million in a wide range of organisations providing and promoting opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in sport and physical activity and in athletes with disabilities.

Speaking at the launch, Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Treacy said: “Sport Ireland is committed to the equal treatment of all people when it comes to their participation in sport. While this policy captures much of what has already been done within the sports sector over many years, we felt the need to underpin this with strong guiding principles which will make sure that we have a coordinated approach to ensure that the delivery of the sector’s efforts are more effective and accountable. Sport Ireland funds and will continue to work closely with organisations such as National Governing Bodies of Sport, Local Sports Partnerships, Cara and Paralympics Ireland to ensure that there are opportunities for all to participate in sport.”

The Sport Ireland Policy on Participation in Sport by People with Disabilities affirms Paralympics Ireland’s role as the lead agency in the support of high performance athletes with disabilities. It also affirms Cara's role in advocating for the inclusion of people with disabilities in sport and physical activity, encouraging a national vision while supporting local provision, and building capacity through education and training programmes.

Sport Ireland Director of Participation Dr Una May added: “It is fitting to launch this policy at this time as it is ten years since the Sports Inclusion Disability Programme was launched and Cara was established to provide supports to the Local Sports Partnership network. This policy takes into consideration what we have learned over the course of the last decade and maps out a way forward which will ensure that no matter what level people with disability want to participate at the opportunity will exist for them. Sport Ireland looks forward to working with our funded bodies and other partners in the disability sector in bringing this policy to life.”

The Sport Ireland Policy on Participation in Sport by People with Disabilities can be viewed here.