The Guide(s) for implementation European Sport Model for Inclusion
The Guides for implementation the European Sport Model for Inclusion, for the governmental sectors of sport, education, health, municipalities and non-governmental level for the sports clubs aiming at a local intervention, it foresees three natures of programs:
- Awareness actions.
- Technical, human, material and financial support to be provided by local authorities to public and private entities providing services and support to persons with disabilities.
- Programs to be promoted and developed in four application and / or intervention areas, namely:
- Sport and Therapy.
- Sport and Education.
- Grassroots Sports or Sports For All.
- High Competition, and Olympic and Paralympic Programs.
Including from the partners the following contributions:
- Position paper, from the European Paralympic Committee (EPC);
- ‘Sport Service Point | Create structure to cooperate’, a concept developed in the Netherlands which was proposed to us by the Knowledge Centre for Sport & Exercise Netherlands (The Netherlands);
- From the Portuguese partners we have added a text in the context of awareness entitled: Why? For whom? When? Where and what sports can people with disabilities play
- We have attached a number of tables enabling the identification of various sports activities, information on international sports organization and the governance of sport in the EU28 member states.
Table 8 – Physical Activity and Sports Programmes by the Sectors
|Physical Activity and Sports Programmes|
|2. Technical, human, material and financial support||X||X||X||X|
|3. Physical and Sports Programmes|
|3.1. Physical Activity for Health||X||X||X||X||X|
|3.2. Sports and Therapy||X|
|3.3. Schools Sports||X||X||X||X|
|3.4. University Sports||X||X||X||X|
|3.5. Sports for Workers||X|
|3.6. Grassroots Sports||X||X||X||X|
|3.7. High Competition, Olympic and Paralympic||X||X||X|
European Paralympic Committee
 Vienna 2019 April
The European Paralympic Committee (EPC) is a European non-profit organization with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. It was founded in 1991 and it consists of 44 National Paralympic Committees (NPC) and 9 International Sports Federations (IFs).
The EPC is the umbrella organization of the European National Paralympic Committees. It promotes and contributes to the development of sport opportunities and competitions for European athletes with impairment as part of the World Sports Organisations as well the Paralympic Movement. It is a proactive participant for improving their conditions and creating values for its stakeholders.
The right to access and participation of persons with disabilities in sport includes sports and cultural enjoyment as spectators, the development of a function as a volunteer or as a professional, or a more active participation as an athlete, either informally or formally, and to the highest level.
Being the pioneering organization for its stakeholders, the EPC collects and distributes information, data and best practices, and connects stakeholders and influencers from different sectors by using innovative methods and ways of communication.
 The EPC has the responsibility:
- a) To contribute to the “realization of the aims of full participation”, according UN, 1982 December 3, Resolution 37/52, in particular to promote the inclusion of the athletes with impairment in conventional sport structures;
- b) To safeguard the right to access and participate in sport as a “fundamental human right (UNESCO, 2015) by providing athletes with opportunities to participate in one and / or both of the structures of the World Sports.
 The EPC defend the right of persons with disabilities to participate not only in grassroots or elite sport but also as a volunteer or as a professional (as a worker or as a sports agent) and also to be able to watch sporting events not only through television but also to have access to sports facilities and events.
Strategy & goals – overcoming the barriers to participation
Disability is defined as “permanent limitation, reduction or loss (resulting from damage to health) of the ability to perform some physical activity or mental function appropriate to the age
of the person. It refers to ability in the form of complex activities and behaviours, which are generally accepted as essential ingredients of everyday life.”
Across the world, people with disabilities face physical, social and economic disadvantages that prevent them from fully socializing. They often don’t have equal access to education, workplaces, healthcare and sports.
It is estimated that there are about 80 million people with a disability in the European Union, which is equivalent to approximately 15% of the EU population.
Recent research has shown that a significant number of people with disabilities aged over 16 do not practice any physical activity, while 30% to 40% of them have not moved or exercised outdoors in the last 12 months. This rate (70%) is much higher when it comes to people with reduced mobility. Inactivity in the general population reaches 20%.
The EU is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which includes the obligation to take appropriate measures to make social inclusion in and through sports effective. The Convention specifically requires enabling persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in recreational, leisure and sporting activities.
The EPC’s main goal is to ensure the continuous involvement of people with disabilities in sports activities through cooperation with the European Paralympic Network in European Solidarity Corps. It also aims to increase the participation rates in sports in the less economically affluent zones of Europe and to ensure the growth of participation rates of women as well athletes with high support needs
To do so, the EPC has to identify the factors that inhibit participation in sport for people with disabilities, but also to formulate specific sport related measures that can be undertaken by Member States and the European Commission.
The benefits of sport participation for people with disabilities are countless and recognized globally. At the EU level, sport participation is also recognized as a powerful inclusive instrument. The benefits are usually divided into three categories: personal health, individual development and social integration.
 International Paralympic Committee (2019). Athletes With High Support Needs, www.paralympic.org
On the other hand, the barriers to participation are also numerous and are lived on three levels: individual, social and environmental.
- It is indispensable to increase the participation rate of people with disabilities in sport and physical activity.
Raising awareness and improving the communication on sport opportunities for people with disabilities might facilitate sport participation by overcoming the specific, above mentioned barriers. The EPC explores different areas in order to achieve this goal.
In order to envisage, plan and execute adequate projects and activities, it is necessary to sub-categorize the beneficiaries (people with physical/mental impairments), to propose definitions of:
- Sport participation (practicing sports/physical activities, volunteering in sport or as a professional, attending sport events)
- Organized sport (formal context where sport and/or sport related physical activities are taking place)
The EPC will additionally put efforts in improving the following areas:
- adapted sports infrastructure
- lack of (in)formal organization (sport clubs, social networks…)
- psychological barriers (lack of self-confidence)
- financial barriers (expensive special equipment)
- lack of specialized assistance
The future actions will focus on:
- promoting the integration of persons with disabilities into regular sports programmes and recreational activities through different ‘champions’/’leaders’ or ‘advocates’- persons who have taken part and already benefited from the activities.
- providing sports competitions at all levels in order to incite, among other things, continuous participation of people with disabilities in sports activities.
- promoting the creation of accessible and adapted sports facilities that meet the specific needs of people and children with disabilities.
- developing new sports programmes for people and children with disabilities.
- ensuring the availability of adequate equipment which would contribute to the expansion of sports and recreational activities for people and children with disabilities.
- capacity building for professional coaches, facilitators and managers – acquisition of specific knowledge and skills).
- providing the necessary assistance and logistics to participate in sports activities.
- providing support from interdisciplinary experts: kinesiologists, teachers, doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, etc…
- encouraging sports clubs to be inclusive.
Future activities of the EPC, together with different EU institutions and partners, can ensure continuous involvement of people with disabilities in sports activities. The EPC has a strong network of members among the National Paralympic Committees and European Sports Organizations in all European countries and has a significant knowledge and experience in the field of sports activities of people with disabilities.
Through thought leadership EPC can increase the involvement of people with disabilities in sports activities, but this process requires commitment, enthusiasm and support through European Sport Fund Programme, European partners support, Governmental support and the support of local authorities.
Sport Service Point
Create structure to cooperate
“Sport Service Point | Create structure to cooperate”, is a concept developed in the Netherlands, to stimulate cooperation between the different sectors. This Sport Service point concept can be adapted to awareness raising activities within the scope of “INSPORT PROJECT Sport Inclusion – Full Participation in Sport by Persons with Disabilities”. This initiative was suggested by The Knowledge Centre of Sport & Exercise form the Netherlands (Netherlands), one of the InSport project partnerships.
“Sport Service Point | Create structure to cooperate” – Structure and Contents
A “Sport Service Point Create structure to cooperate” made available to us consists of a total of 20 slides, with texts and illustrations, as well as footnotes.
- From adaptation to denomination
The original name “Sport Service Point Create structure to cooperate” will be adapted for Project InSport to “InSport Service Point | Sport For Inclusion”.
2. Scope and goals
“InSport Service Point | Sport For Inclusion” is a proposal of the InSport Project that, through awareness actions, aims to contribute to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the regular sport structures at local level, promoting cooperation between the sectors of sport, education, municipalities and sports clubs, in the Europe Region in general and, in particular, in the European Union.
“InSport Service Point | Sport For Inclusion” consists of two main areas and objectives of intervention:
- Create a fixed or mobile “InSport Service Point” in public spaces in the community or in one of the facilities/accommodations of the sports, education, municipalities and sports clubs sectors;
- Generate attention for this “InSport Service Point | Sport For Inclusion” in various media, intended to support awareness actions. The form and contents are suitable for Information, Training, Dissemination and Demonstration actions in the Community, in public spaces and in the services of the Sports, Education, Municipalities and Sports Clubs.
3. How do persons with disabilities to find their way into sports?
The European Union currently has an estimated 80 million people with disabilities, around 15% of the EU population (EU, 2019; WHO, 2019; World Bank, 2019), and is expected to reach 120 million in 2020 (Ecorys, 2018; EU, 2019).
People with disabilities are the least active and participating in physical activity and sport compared to people without disabilities (WHO, 2006).
That is the same in each municipality, which means one person out of ten. Although there are many different initiatives to play sport or be physically active, for these people it’s not always easy to find their way to participate. A big part of this group is not visible within the municipality.
However, this is a big group and also very diverse. To find an activity that fits every different disability/impairment, it is crucial cooperate with different stakeholders within the municipality, namely education, health and sports clubs.
We follow the next four steps to create this cooperation:
Step 1: Take initiative
Create, in each country, in each Municipality the enthusiasm amongst others for the idea. Search for people within, but also outside the local network of stakeholders. Have informal talks about the idea and use your joint passion as a starter for cooperation. And even more important, talk about the different interests and concerns. This will help to avoid bumps on the road towards cooperation in the future.
Step 2: Agreements and plans
Sometimes cooperation is not easy, because it’s unclear who is doing what. Choose a structure for cooperation that fits each stakeholder, where all can add value to the cooperation. It’s very important to appoint one coordinator that overviews what is going on. Together you need to analyze the education, health, municipality and sports clubs to be able to define the goals.
Step 3: Do it!
Start to carry out the plan. Keep in touch with each other about the realization of the goals. And, very important: share and celebrate the successes! Plan regular evaluation meetings to be able to get better results and a more effective cooperation.
Step 4: Create legacy
This last step is often forgotten but is very important. Capture your successful plan in the regular policy of each stakeholder. If all parties do this then in the future each person with a disability/impairment will be able to find their way into sports.
Cooperation between the four sectors
These sectors must work together and aim at modifications articulated at different levels (individual, meso and macro), horizontally and vertically, for the ultimate change – promoting full participation.
One of the examples that promote joint work and cooperation between the various sectors is the “Sport Service Point | Create structure to cooperate”, that is a concept developed in the Netherlands, to stimulate cooperation between the different sectors. This Sport Service point concept can be adapted to awareness raising activities within the scope of “INSPORT PROJECT Sport Inclusion – Full Participation in Sport by Persons with Disabilities”. This initiative was suggested by The Knowledge Centre of Sport & Exercise form the Netherlands, one of the InSport project partnerships – so the original name “Sport Service Point-Create structure to cooperate” will be adapted for Project InSport to “InSport Service Point | Sport For Inclusion ”. The “InSport Service Point | Sport For Inclusion” is a proposal of the InSport Project that, through awareness actions, aims to contribute to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the regular sport structures at local level, promoting cooperation between the sectors of Sport, Education, Municipalities and Sports Clubs, in the Europe Region in general and, in particular, in the European Union. It consists in two main areas of intervention:
- Create a fixed or mobile “InSport Service Point” in public spaces in the community or in one of the facilities/accommodations of the sports, education, municipalities and sports clubs sectors.
- Generate attention for this Insport Service Point in various media, to support awareness actions. The form and contents are suitable for Information, training, dissemination and demonstration actions in the community, in public spaces and in the services of the Sports, Education, Municipalities and Sports Clubs.
Thus, we propose a central structure of interconnection and articulation between the different sectors – Service Point – this structure can be led by a team of professionals from one of the sectors or a team from an external sector – whose mission is to bring together the needs and interests of persons with disabilities for sports, as well as the sectors that develop and offer the sports activities, with the aim of optimising the match between supply and demand for (adapted) sports.
By setting up an Insport Service Point, you build a local/regional network of organisations from all four sectors, that together can stimulate people with disabilities to participate in sports. By creating awareness of the importance of sports, removing barriers and guiding people towards a sports activity that fits them best, this will provide the best possible framework for regular physical activity for all.
In addition to the dimension of the “Sectors”, we will also have another dimension that is based on the Ecological System of Sports Model, according to the three levels of structuring: Individual / Micro level, Meso level and Macro level.
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.