Output 6

Guide to stimulate participation: description of actions to accompany and promote the participation of people with disabilities in sport


Participation in sport is often shown in pyramid form, because a large proportion of people do sports or physical activity on a recreational level, while a smaller group moves on to competition forms and then an even smaller group moves on towards the top.

Figure: Sports pyramid

The phases in the pyramid are also applicable for people with a disability. It is important to facilitate (locally) that as many people with disabilities as possible can experience the fun and benefits of sports and physical activity: phases 1, 2 in the pyramid. By experiencing the pleasure of sports and finding a sports activity that matches one’s needs and possibilities, the chances that a person will enter phase 3: structural participation in sports & physical activity, will increase.

Phase 1: Stimulation and promotion

It is essential that people with disabilities are well informed on the benefits and possibilities of sports for them, depending on their disability. Promotional activities that showcase these possibilities or the benefits it has brought to someone, can stimulate people with disabilities to look for matching sports activities for themselves.

Phase 2: Getting to know and try out different sports activities

However, just seeing the opportunities or hearing about possible benefits of participating in sports is not enough. It is essential that the target group can also try out (several) sports activities, because in that way they can experience for themselves the joy and benefits it brings. Therefore, in this phase it is important that the target group is able to participate locally in sports and physical activities and is encouraged to (re)orient and try out several sports to find a matching sports activity.

In order to support these two important phases in stimulating sports participation for people with disabilities, we have gathered and described several promotional activities that can be used in these phases. Below you will find 18 promotional activities.

When applying promotional activities, be aware of the importance of follow-up: make sure that the people visiting or joining an activity, are facilitated to actually join the sports club or activity that was promoted.

Overview of promotional activities

Activities to stimulate participation in sports:


A. by creating awareness and demonstrating and bringing to the attention the existing local (adapted) sports activities
B. through one-time events that create awareness and inspire
C. by providing guidance in finding the right sports activity and in taking the first steps towards sports participation, and facilitating sports providers