Members of the Young People’s Sport Panel (YPSP) identified disability inclusion as a priority area to focus on during their time on the panel.
Recognising disabled people were amongst the hardest hit as a result of the pandemic, the YPSP Inclusion Group wanted to find ways to make sport and physical activity more accessible. After meeting with the Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) Young People’s Panel, they noticed that clear information is a key driver in building confidence to go out and get involved in sport, while a lack of information about accessibility can be a barrier.
The type of information that’s helpful in making a choice and preparing to go to a venue is varied and can include ramp access, wide or automatic doors, toilet facilities, parking, staff attitude, ease and space to move around - and many more. Different people with varying needs are not all looking for the same thing!
As a result, the panel turned to Euan’s Guide, the disabled access charity, to find ways to work together. They were convinced that providing a central resource where individuals can read and share reviews based on personal experience is incredibly useful and they wanted to do more to make it relevant to sport and leisure venues.
Speaking to Euan’s Guide Managing Director Antonia Lee-Bapty, we talked about working with the YPSP and asked her what she hoped the partnership would bring.
“Working with the Young People’s Sport Panel is an important step in establishing Euan’s Guide as a resource for disabled people who want to get involved in sport. In our latest Access Survey, only 21% of respondents thought that sport and leisure facilities had good or excellent disabled access, and this was even less for stadiums (15%). We believe these percentages would be much higher if there was more information about what venues have to offer. We want sport and leisure venues to shout about their accessible facilities and encourage disabled people to visit and take part. We also want their disabled customers to leave reviews on Euan’s Gude, encouraging more disabled people to get involved.
“We know that often a single review can be enough for a disabled person to feel confident enough to try somewhere or something new and that’s why we encourage organisations across the sporting system to get involved.”
As part of sportscotland’s commitment to inclusion, working with Euan's Guide makes sense. They aim to empower disabled people by providing information that will give confidence and choices for getting out and about and that’s why the YPSP were determined to work with them.
We discussed why disability inclusion matters to some of the panel, what differences they hope to see and why they chose Euan’s Guide.
Fiona “To me, inclusion means anybody who wishes should have access to sport, should feel comfortable to take part, and has equal opportunity to advance and prosper in any sport environment. The partnership with Euan’s Guide is a brilliant way to move forward in sport with inclusion at the forefront of everything we do, and I can’t wait to see all the great change we can make with the relationship!”
Emmanuel “Striving for inclusion is vital in recognising and understanding each person’s individualities to include and treat them fairly and equally. Inclusion matters because it gives people a sense of belonging and acceptance. Even if it’s only one person that we influence that could be one more person partaking in sport! Working with Euan’s Guide means we can help spread the word by providing information to make getting involved in sport easier for disabled people.”
Laura “Having a disability, is one of the first things I think about when going anywhere - will it be catered to my accessibility needs? Joining a gym or going to a sports venue can be daunting for anyone for the first time, the additional fear of the venue not being accessible can stop people with a disability from making that first step. A partnership with Euan’s Guide will promote accessibility needs for individuals with a disability at sport & leisure venues and give individuals that confidence to go to a new venue and feel welcomed.”
Tilly “I think sport is a great example of how it is possible to bring different types of people together. I am excited by the partnerships we are creating and the organisations we are working with, especially Euan’s Guide who are making a real difference to disabled people, and we want to help empower more people to enjoy the benefits of sport and physical activity.”