Access to physical activities

4 August 2017

A disabled man and woman working out in a gym with a trainer. Five years on from 2012 London Paraympics, we asked disabled people how accessible local physical activities are.

Unfortunately, despite the success of the World Para Athletics Championships, we found access to physical activities at a local level is still an issue for the majority of disabled people.

‘I am unable to access any sports. As far as I can find online there are no wheelchair sports opportunities in my area.’

— Chloe Robson from Choppington in Northumberland

Difficult to access

Disabled man working out with a trainer in the gym

60% of disabled people we asked told us they ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ take part in sport or physical activity and 66% found their local gym difficult to access.

‘I was banned from my local athletics club when I declared on the membership form that I was disabled.

‘Apparently being disabled makes me a risk to young athletes as I may scare them. I’m currently taking them to court.’

— Debbie Martin from Bath

More can be done

Young girl playing tennisAmong our response was one from triple gold medal winning Paralympian Peter Hull.

‘I have seen a positive change, particularly since 2012, in attitudes to participation in adapted sport.

‘A lot of this can been put down to training of coaches and facility staff members, but feel more can be done.’

— Paralympian Peter Hull


I went into my local leisure centre which was only refurbished recently.when I asked about hoisting facilities the staff told me they had a hoist at the side of the pool .How do I get from my wheelchair to the pool,no hoist in the changing room.sorry about that they said .yes so am I but this is just my life so thanks.

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