Get Inspired: How to get into disability sport
|Why get into sport?||Being active is a great way to improve your health, clear your mind and put you into a better mood.|
|Who is it for?||Everyone! There are sports clubs around the UK that cater for people with all kinds of impairments or health conditions. See the table below for more information.|
|Is there a cheap option?||Many clubs and sports centres offer free taster sessions so you can try different sports to find out which is your favourite!|
|What if I want a proper workout?||There are over 400 inclusive Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) gyms around the country with specially designed equipment so you'll be working up a sweat in no time.|
|Can I take it to another level?||If you're a budding elite athlete, maybe a Paralympian, there are plenty of opportunities to get spotted. Join a sports club with professional coaches to reach your full potential.|
|Is there a family option?||From obstacle races to treasure hunts, the Change 4 Life website includes ideas for lots of fun sports and activities for the kids.|
Whatever level you wish to take part, sport and physical activity can be an enjoyable lifestyle choice. In the past, it may have been difficult to find a local sports club which could cater for individuals needs, but nowadays nearly all sports have options or variations for disabled people and many clubs can cater for people regardless of physical limitations.
The English Federation of Disability Sport can signpost you to numerous participation opportunities and programmes including information on opportunities to try out different sports in your local area. For other areas of the UK, visit Disability Sport Wales, Disability Sports NI, or Scottish Disability Sport.
If you are just starting out
Any kind of physical movement is beneficial to your health, so don't think you have to be a great athlete to get involved. If you're not quite ready to join a club, working out at home is a good starting point. If you're keen to get active but the prospect of entering the world of sport seems daunting, don't worry as there are plenty of great resources out there to help you get started.
With their connection to County Sport Partnerships around the country, the EFDS can point you to sports and activities in your area. Just click on your region and get started. The Parasport club finder can also help you to find a club near you.
Get back into physical activity
In the past you may have been limited to certain sports such a wheelchair basketball or racing. If you used to enjoy sport or haven't been active for a while, you might be pleasantly surprised at the variety and popularity of sports now available in addition to the number of clubs that now offer specific options for disabled people. If you're looking to re-enter the world or physical activity but don't know where to start, look through the Get Inspired activity guide list that has a range of different activities and their variations to point you in the right direction.
If you have your heart set on joining a gym, there are now over 400 IFI Inclusive Fitness gyms around the country that provide accessible physical activity to disabled people. The specially designed equipment allows both disabled and non-disabled people to benefit from a full body, cardiovascular and resistance-based workout. Find your nearest IFI gym on the EFDS website.
|UK Wide National Disability Sport Organisations (NDSOs)|
|British Amputees and Les Autres Sports Associationemail@example.com/ 01773715984|
|British Blind Sport (BBS)||firstname.lastname@example.org/ 01926 424247|
|Wheelpower - British Wheelchair Sportemail@example.com/ 01296 395995|
|Cerebral Palsy Sport (SP Sport)||firstname.lastname@example.org/ 0115 925 7027|
|Dwarf Sports Association UK||01246 296 485|
|Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB)||020 7247 8891|
|Mencap Sportemail@example.com/ 020 7454 0454|
|UK Deaf Sport (UKDS)||Use their online contact form|
If it's your dream to compete at the highest level then Para Sport is the destination for you. Their Pathway to the Paralympics scheme includes initiatives and events which are designed to help you develop your skills and get the best out of disability sport. If you're not sure which sport to focus on, use the site to find a sport, however if you have your heart set on a certain discipline, then go straight to finding a club in your local area.
You will be trained by professional coaches to really ramp up your fitness and technique to help you reach your full potential.
Regardless of your level of fitness or ability, joining a sports club is a great way to build your confidence, meet likeminded people and create a new social circle with people you can share your experiences with. There are even some sports such as basketball and dance that integrate able-bodied and disabled athletes which is a fantastic way to broaden your social circle even further. Visit the EFDS for information on inclusive fitness and the health and social benefits of sport.
If you're low in confidence or your disability inhabits your ability to attend a sports session alone, then take a friend, family member or carer with you and they will often get to play for free!
1. Share your story and inspire others
3. Go to our Activity Finder to get into sport near you.
4. See the EFDS Being active guide for some more information on where to start.
5. Catch up on the Goz & Ross physical challenge series. The friends are trying out different activities to find one that they can do together including wheelchair rugby,skiing and soon cycling, dance and tennis too.
Are you inspired to try a new sport? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the game by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired, visiting us on Facebook or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration & to choose which disability sport is right for you.