Sport is healthy for everyone, including people with a disability. It boosts people’s self-confidence and helps them get the best out of themselves. It also increases social participation. The government has set up a number of multiyear programmes to promote disability sport.
Sport close to home for people with disabilities
People with disabilities need to be able to take part in sport close to home, where possible at existing sports clubs. It should also be easy for them to find sporting facilities in their neighbourhood. Those are the key aims of ‘Unlimited Activity’, the new policy on disability sport drawn up by the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).
The Special Heroes Project gives children in special education an opportunity to experience the joys of sport and exercise. The programme, which runs until the end of 2015, aims to motivate children with physical or learning disabilities to join a local sports club. The programme is implemented by the non-profit organisation Onbeperkt Sportief (‘Unlimited Sport’), which works in partnership with NOC*NSF.
Rehabilitation, sport and exercise
The government has earmarked €2 million until the end of 2015 for setting up sports desks at rehabilitation centres. People recovering from a disabling accident or illness can consult the sports desk for:
- tailor-made advice on sport and physical exercise;
- support and information about exercise and sports facilities near their home.
In addition, sports desk staff can scout for potential Paralympic talent. By providing support at an early stage of rehabilitation, people may be more likely to continue exercising or take up sport after their recovery. The sports desks are part of the Rehabilitation, Sport and Exercise programme.