NOC*NSF and Disabled Sports Fund launch Sports and Exercise Participation Index for people with disabilities
The NOC*NSF and Disabled Sports Fund and have joined forces to map out the sports participation of people with disabilities. The results show that young people with disabilities in particular exercise much less than young people without disabilities.
By measuring sport and exercise behavior twice a year, the sport and exercise participation of people aged 5-80 years with a mild, moderate and severe disability was mapped. In the report, these results are compared with the sports and exercise behavior of the total Dutch population. The report offers valuable insights into the sport and exercise participation of Dutch people with disabilities.
Weekly sports participation among people with disabilities is 48 percent. This concerns the entire group of Dutch people with a mild, moderate and severe disability. By way of comparison: 61 percent of the Dutch population without a disability participates in sport on a weekly basis.
Youth with a disability play sports significantly less
The report shows that young people with disabilities in particular exercise significantly less than young people without disabilities. No less than 31 percent of the 5-18 year olds do not participate in sports, compared to 16 percent of the total youth. While the foundation for a lifelong sport is often laid at a young age.
People with disabilities and a low level of education also lag behind in terms of sport participation, the report shows. The number of low-educated non-athletes (men 59 percent, women 52 percent) is much higher than the number of highly educated non-athletes (34 percent men, 25 percent women). These insights are comparable to sports participation insights for people without disabilities. It is striking, however, that the more highly educated athletes with disabilities participate in weekly sports activities more often than the lower-educated athletes without disabilities.
People with disabilities experience these obstacles the most: The sport they want to practice costs too much money; I have no one to play sports with or exercise with, and fear of the pain.
Top 3 most practiced sports
Athletes – between the ages of 5 and 80 – with a disability are mainly involved in walking (19 percent), exercising (16 percent) and swimming (10 percent). Compared to the total Dutch population, we see that these top 3 sports are practiced in a comparable way and are therefore equally popular. Other sports that are widely practiced are: cycling, running, football and yoga.