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  • 26 October 2016 16:29
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  • Last Modified: 27 October 2016 11:39
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Wheelchair users want more accessible opportunities!

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There is a clear need for sports providers to offer more local sport and physical activity opportunities which are accessible for wheelchair users, new research reveals.

The findings, published today (Wednesday 19 October 2016) in a new report by WheelPower - British Wheelchair Sport, aims to support providers and sports bodies in planning and delivering their activities, to better meet the needs of wheelchair users.

WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, commissioned Rica (Research Institute for Consumer Affairs) to carry out a national survey into wheelchair users’ participation in sport and physical activity. The report titled Talk About Taking Part, includes responses from both wheelchair users who lead an active lifestyle and those who don’t currently take part in any form of sport or physical activity. 


The report highlights:  

A lack of suitable opportunities (44 per cent of respondents) and lack of accessible venues (39 per cent) were identified as the top two barriers that can prevent wheelchair users from taking part in sport and physical activity.

The cost of specialist equipment often needed by wheelchair users to take part in sport also continues to be a significant barrier.

 More than seven in ten (74 per cent) of wheelchair users surveyed said they would like to be more active in the future. 

Just over half of survey respondents (54 per cent) travel for more than 30 minutes to take part in some form of sport or physical activity. 

Survey respondents (29 per cent) also highlighted that travelling distance can be a barrier to being more active – indicating a clear need for more local provision of suitable sporting opportunities for wheelchair users.  


The report also highlights key survey findings about current participation trends, motivations and barriers to being active, as well as the sports and activities wheelchair users currently take part in, and what they would like to do more of in the future.
Organisations such as national governing bodies of sport, county sports partnerships, and local sports providers should particularly benefit from these findings to support them to improve their activity offers for wheelchair users


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