Paralympics legacy questioned
- 12 January 2013
Paralympians like swimmer Ellie Simmonds, wheelchair athlete David Weir and cyclist Sarah Storey gave us some of the greatest moments of 2012.
But a study claims almost 9 in 10 sports clubs saw no change in the number of people with disabilities joining in the months after the Paralympic Games.
The Sport and Recreation Alliance questioned hundreds of UK sports clubs and a quarter said they didn't have the facilities to allow disabled people to take part.
The organisation says clubs need to do more to encourage those with disabilities to join.
Andy Reed, Chairman of the Alliance, said the findings were "a massive wake-up call not just for government but all of us in the [sport] sector".
He added: "We all have to take some responsibility for not being as ready as we probably thought we should be."
You've been telling us how the Paralympic Games have inspired you, and what it's like to take up a new sport if you're disabled.
"My brother has a disability and sometimes he feels like he doesn't fit in. Clubs need to make sure they make disabled people fit in. It just isn't fair - they are the same as us."
Millie, Bristol, England
"My friend Jenna is disabled from birth, she decided to take part in basketball at a local club. Well done Jenna! Her motto is 'I may be different, but not every one is the same'."
Abbi, Cornwall, England
"I think the sports clubs do not do enough to advertise and encourage people to join. One of my family members wanted to join a sports club after watching the Paralympics but found it difficult to find out where and when clubs are available."
Lucy, Cornwall, England
"I love my gym. It is so fun and a lot of disabled people go there!"
Hailey, Luton, England
"My friend is disabled. He has joined a rugby team and he feels like he doesn't fit in."
Caitlin, Southampton, England
"My little sister has a disability. After the Paralympics she wanted to get involved with sports, so she joined a football club which helps kids with disabilities. She joined in August and she's still playing."
Saacid, Bolton, England
"I have joined a riding club since the Paralympics, which is really helping me. It is hard joining new clubs but after seeing the athletes in the Paralympics, it inspired me. I am now riding my riding teacher's best horse, which I love."
Holly, Coventry, England
"I am not disabled in any way but I would have thought the Paralympics would have inspired more people to get involved. The thing is they need the funding, so in a way, I don't think you can blame people who don't join."
Dion, Harrow, England
"I have a disability that makes my bones weak and the Paralympics have inspired me to join a special swimming club."
Mollie, Bristol, England
"My friend has had dwarfism since birth and sometimes she feels uncomfortable around new people but she has loads of friends and everyone loves her. She is really into horse riding and her aspiration is to do horse riding in the Paralympics. The Paralympics has inspired her even more and it's her favourite part of the week when she goes horse riding at our local riding school."
Lydia, Ludlow, England
"My opinion is that sports clubs don't really think about people with disabilities and they don't really advertise that much for people with disabilities. Sport is about making the superstars of tomorrow, but they're making that pretty hard for people with disabilities."
Michael, London, England
"I feel like Britain is disappointed that not many disabled people have started to do more sport because they don't understand how expensive it is. Not many disabled people can afford to invest money in sports clubs because they have to save up for other things to help make their lives easier. Britain needs to help disabled people with financial support if they expect more people to join sports clubs."
Alyssia, Harrogate, England
"We played seated volleyball in school and it was so hard but fun! I seriously admire all of those people out there who play these kind of sports despite their disability!"
Aisha, London, England