Insport Project

The main objective of the InSport Project is to promote “full participation” in sports for persons with disabilities. In this way, a set of actions and outputs are proposed that constitute guidelines of knowledge of the current situation and the creation of support materials that are considered essential in the promotion of the sport for persons with disabilities.
The third phase of the project, aims to:

Develop a guide(s) with materials to support the implementation of inclusive sports activities, through the use and profitability of materials, possible adaptations and examples of use in various activities with a focus on ludic activities, boccia, traditional sports and games and swimming;

Provide components and practical strategies methods and techniques in inclusion into and through sports for use by other stakeholders.

In the framework of this guide, we initially look at the framing of strategies and methodologies for inclusion in sport and their supporting materials; then, we provide the functional profiles of persons with disabilities, adapted to sports and physical activity taking into account the International Classification of Functioning (International Classification of Functioning, Disabilities and Health – ICF, 2001); finally, specific strategies are exemplified for the following activities: play & game, boccia, traditional sports and games and swimming. It should be noted that it is not intended to be a tool of scientific content, but of practical application with an informative and also technical nature.

It should be noted that the choice of the specific activities focused on the fact that the project was designed for a target population from birth to 35 years old and their activities, because the first ten years of life are crucial in stimulating regular sports and physical activity practice, and considering the high rate of inactivity in both children and young people. In this way, this project identified as a target group the population from 0 to 35 years, regardless of gender or physical, sensory, cognitive, psychological and social condition. The pertinence of the action in this age group is related to both the importance of physical activity, psychomotor, playfull activities and games in early ages and its influence to the creation of active and healthy life habits, as well as the maintenance of regular physical activity through major life changes, such as university or entrance to  labor market.

Thus, it was decided to choose activities across ages, taking into account the integration of regular activities (play & games, traditional sports and games, swimming) and specific activities of persons with disabilities (boccia, with the possibility of being developed from the informal physical and sporting activity to the formal) – demonstrating its inclusive potential – and not in a competition phase but in the recreation and initiation phase.

With this output, the InSport project team intends for readers to experience the strategies present here in their regular action – in order to bring from theory to practice what can contribute to inclusion in and through sport – namely in the diversification of possibilities for sports practice for everyone.

It is important to give the individual opportunities to explore, challenge and overcome by having a positive, fearless and persevering attitude (Verschuren, Wiart, Hermans & Ketelaar, 2012), being aware that disability should not be an impediment to being active members of our community!

Thus, the choice of physical activities by each individual enhances personal satisfaction and greater involvement, increasing the taste for physical activity and a healthy and active life. Therefore, it is important to develop contexts, strategies and activities that promote an active life in an increasingly sedentary and self-indulgent society.

It should also be noted that the promotion of inclusive sport must be taken into account not only when finding strategies to promote inclusion in sporting activities, but also in terms of organizational aspects of access to sport – thus organizations can be restructured involving persons with disabilities as employees, volunteers, coaches, etc. (Misener, 2014).