Consensus statement

Currently, regarding inclusion in sport different terminology is being used in different countries, which makes it difficult to compare findings and to set unilineal goals and targets. In order to tackle the issues that are currently preventing youth with disabilities from participating in sports, there is need to reach a consensus on what inclusive sport truly means. Therefore a consensus statement on inclusion in sport will be written. This statement will provide clear and universal definitions of what inclusion in sport means. This strong basis will then be taken as starting point for actual steps of improvement to include more youth with disabilities in sport.

As input for the consensus statement in Finland, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Portugal focus groups were organized to discuss the topic of inclusion in sport in practice in a systematic way with children/youth with a disability themselves, their parents and sport professionals. The preliminary outcomes of the first focus groups were presented and discussed during the EUCAPA conference. The final outcomes of the focus group interviews were presented and discussed with international researchers and professionals at the ISAPA conference in June 2021 (see video below). The results will be translated into a consensus statement.

Best practices

The inventory of the sport landscapes in the different countries of the SEDY 1 project made the project partners aware that in Portugal and Lithuania we first have to overcome a number of barriers on the community and institutional level before we can start implementing tools. In these countries, people seemed insufficiently aware of the importance of inclusion and the benefits of physical activity for youth with disabilities. In addition, the inclusive sports opportunities were limited and there was too little collaboration between stakeholders acting at the different levels.

Partially based on these findings, best practices in terms of promoting participation in sports on the community and institutional of the Social Ecological Model (individual, interpersonal, institutional, community and policy level) will be collected in all partner countries. In Portugal and Lithuania round table discussion will be set up to open up the discussion about this topic and in the end build a network and system to stimulate children to be more active.