Chapter VI

The presentation of the proposal for “The European Sport Model for Inclusion” will be preceded by a brief presentation of the project’s goals and the pyramidal structure of the European Sport Model.

The Goals InSport Project

This project intends to increase the active and effective participation of the target group in the practice of sports and physical activity, aiming at the:

  • Research and formulation of recommendations for inclusive practices, providing a model for the inclusion in sport of persons with disabilities;
  • Stimulation (to encourage) of social and sports participation, of personal and social development;
  • Training of technicians for cooperation between areas (health, education, sports clubs and municipalities) and their professional qualification for inclusion;
  • Development of the role of promotion and encouragement of physical activity and the adoption of healthy lifestyles;
  • Creation of a technological knowledge platform accessible to all;
  • Stimulation of volunteering and active participation in society as well in sport, as expressed in the EU guidelines on social inclusion and equal opportunities.


The outputs of the project are:

  1. Guide to the analysis of good practice at national level in the field of inclusion through sport.
  2. Guide (s) for the development of the European Model of Inclusion in Sport.
  3. Guide (s) of intervention support material (adaptation and / or construction).
  4. Elaboration of a common training curriculum.
  5. Specific website of the project.
  6. Guide (s) of actions promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the sports field.



Chapter VI

Our proposal will adopt as an organizational principle the “European Sport Model”, referenced in the White Paper on Sport (2017, p.12), as we consider that the model, as a sports and organizational political system, should represent a set of organic elements that they must obey hierarchically organizational structure, arranged horizontally and vertically, in dynamic interaction as information mechanisms, both downwards and upwards, aiming at the full participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in sport.

Figure 1 – Graphical representation of the pyramidal structure of the European Sport Model



Chapter VI

The national or country organizational structure will be, according to the geographical organizational dimension and the typology of the organizations, as follows:

  1. Geographic Organizational Dimension

The geographical organizational structure should be adjusted to the political system and the administrative political division of the country, but should generally comprise three levels, namely:

  • National level;
  • Intermediate Level;
  • Local Level.

2. The typology of organizations

The organizations are Governmental and non-governmental are as follows:

  • Governmental Organizations are those that oversee the sports, education and health sectors. They are structured at the national level by the respective Ministry and may or may not have the National Public Administration Services and the decentralized services at the Regional and Local Levels. Municipalities are Local Authorities, and there may be a form of Regional Government or autonomous.
  • Non-Governmental Organizations will be the local sports clubs. Structurally and hierarchically clubs will work with regional and national associations as well as sporting, unsporting or multisport federations. The national structure may vary from countries that have an Olympic Committee, another Paralympic Committee and a Sports Confederation, in the case of Portugal to the example of Norway that has only one sports organization that aggregates all three.



Chapter VI

There are about three good examples of the unification of organizations of regular sport for people with disabilities, namely United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (2019), South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC, 2004) and Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (2008).

The structure of the Norwegian organization is, in our view, more inclusive and representative of the organizations members, structured according to the three levels: national, regional and local, with clubs at the local level, as per the organizational chart below.

Flow chart – Norway Sport Organisational Chart



Chapter VI

The InSport Organizational Model will have a local structure to be constituted by the local authorities of the sports, education, health and municipal and non-governmental sectors will be the sports club. The five entities will constitute a Sports and Inclusion Commission that will be coordinated by the municipality.

These five entities will have their respective representative organizational structures at intermediate, regional and national levels.



Chapter VI

Inclusion presupposes in terms of the coherence and consequence of the definition and policy-sport intervention, that intervention at national level is defined, followed by vertical intervention at intermediate level and, at base, at local level, according to the following structure:

The Sports Policies – where the broad guidelines in terms of sports policy are defined, namely:

  • International agreements, an example the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
  • European Union Sport Policy
    • Lisbon Treaty (2009).
    • Eurobarometer (2002; 2009, 2013. 2017)
    • White Paper on Sport (2007)
    • Developing European Dimension of Sport (2011)
    • EU Work Plan for Sport (2011-2020)
    • Health-enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA)
  • National Legislation
    • National Constitution
    • Basic Law on Sport
    • Basic Law on Habilitation and Social Inclusion Persons with Disabilities
    • Basic Law for Education, Health and Municipality Sectors
  • Sports Policies
    • Promotion and Development of Grassroots Sport and Health
    • Promotion and Development of High-Performance Sport
  • Financing of Sport

Sport System and Structure for people with disabilities – establish an organizational structure of the country’s sport, as well as the area of ​​disability. Involvement of the following sectors:

  • Government Sector of Sport.
  • Government Sector of Education.
  • Government Sector of Health.
  • Government Sector of Municipality.
  • Non-Governmental Sector of Sports Clubs, Associations and Sports Federation.

Sport Participation – access to and participation in sports, analyzing both facilitating aspects and barriers / barriers to participation, such as:

  • Barriers to participation at Individual Level.
  • Barriers to participation at Social Level.
  • Barriers to participation at Environmental context



Chapter VI

Here are two tables (7) in which, in the first half on the left side, the Project InSport Team proposes a disability-centered inverted pyramid approach methodology, that is reflected in participation also illustrated in the second half right side of the Table.

Picture 7 – Inverted Pyramid – Pyramidal Structure from Participation to Sports Police

Our methodological proposal is based on the thesis that both the definition of the sports system as well the political sports system must be the result of social practices that is it must derive from the real conditions of access and participation of persons with disabilities in sport and contextual factors