Guide with the analysis

Sport plays an important social role with regard to inclusion, since sport for all involves the participation of all citizens, regardless of their physical, cognitive, psychological and socio-economic characteristics, by developing and strengthening social cohesion. National organizations, and their actions towards persons with disabilities, are expected to provide their citizens with the necessary access to active and regular recreational and sporting participation in order to respect the principles of equity and equal opportunities.

Indeed, in the conclusions of the Council of 18 November 2010, the importance of “2. ensure that social inclusion in and through sport is considered in possible future proposals for EU sport programs, as one of the priorities …” (European Union, 2010), the promotion of physical activity is a worldwide concern, as a result of the recognition of its benefits for physical, mental and social health.

In its mission “providing equal opportunities for physical activity regardless of gender, age, income, education, ethnicity or disability;” is intended to reduce by 10% the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles in Europe by 2025, recognizing the disabled population as a vulnerable group from a relevant state of inactivity (World Health Organization, 2016).

Several organizations and entities work to make sport accessible to all by creating infrastructure, accessibility, specific activities for persons with disabilities, or including people with disabilities in unadapted activities and modalities. However, to date, it is necessary to analyze and elaborate the European social access and social inclusion of people with disabilities in sport.

From the framework to the dimensions presented throughout this guidebook – Sport structure, Financing sport, Human resources and training, Characteristics of the population, Involvement of the sectors and Sport Participation – it was possible to collect essential information that define the state of the art up to the moment – enabling the steps to be taken as innovations and recommendations for the future structured and based on diversified information.

In this way, the data obtained and analyzed in this guidebook are essential in the planning and design of future essential steps to the construction of an inclusion model in and through sport that combines the already existing models in some European countries and the information indicated by the participating entities in the study presented here – in particular the question of the prevalence and importance of the different sectors and their cooperation for the development of an integrated and multidisciplinary model in its dimensions.