With the pandemic taking a heavy toll on sports activities for people with disabilities in particular, the EP published this week a report on the subject.
According to a Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2018, having a disability or illness is the third most frequently mentioned reason for not practising sports more regularly. This is significant as approx. 17.5 % of the EU’s total population currently has a disability and is a figure which is set to rise rapidly over the next decade.
To combat this, the EU has supported over 50 projects through its Erasmus+ programme since 2014. A number of examples of these are provided by the EP.
The report highlights remaining challenges in this area. For example, there remains no universal definition for disability and disability sport. There is also an absence of a centralised data collection on the participation of people with disabilities in sport at EU level.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing obstacles faced by people with disabilities in sport. For this reason, as per the report, it is vital that sporting events, such as the Paralympic Games, go ahead in order to ‘put disability back at the heart of the inclusion agenda’ and represent a 'starting point for a better and more inclusive world for all'.