English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) have developed a new online toolkit will support sports clubs to improve provision and opportunities, so that more disabled people can be active at a local level. The club toolkit can be accessed at www.inclusion-club-hub.co.uk and is free to use.
It has been created by EFDS so more disabled people can be included in club activities. As it is online and suitable for mobile browsing, it means more clubs can use it at any convenient time. Clubs can use as an audit tool to find out how inclusive they are or a resource to support the club’s development. Other support includes developing a club action plan, strengthening the Clubmark process, or general planning.
To start with, users are taken through a series of questions to find out more about their club. Their results are then sent directly to them, including ideas, methods and resources. The information contains case studies and best practice examples, so clubs can learn from others and adapt it to suit. These all help every club member to have a positive experience.
There has been a proven surge in disabled people looking for sports clubs, with reports of significant traffic increase. EFDS want to ensure disabled people who look for local opportunities can be guaranteed a quality experience once at the club. The Inclusion Club Hub can support this positive participation.
EFDS’s research ‘Understanding the barriers to participation’ showed that there are a number of minor improvements a club can make, which would help disabled people to feel more comfortable in their environment. Examples include being open and direct towards disabled people, asking the level of support needed to be able to take part in the sport and slightly amending standard practices. The same research also identified the main way in which disabled people find out about sporting opportunities is through word of mouth from other disabled people.
Another piece of EFDS research reported disabled people feel disability specific clubs rather than NGB affiliated clubs have a better understanding of their needs in sport. Promoting the club’s awareness of disabled people’s needs and what it can offer helps to overcome these anxieties.
All members need to feel valued and receive equal opportunities. It makes perfect marketing sense- to grow a club means satisfying all members’ needs. Satisfied customers will share their experience with other people they know and potential members.
EFDS work to support the sports sector and drive the inclusion of disabled people, who are still a largely under-represented group. For clubs, there is not one set way to improve inclusion. Clubs can include disabled people in a variety of ways. Some clubs run fully inclusive sessions which include all its members. Other clubs have bespoke groups and sessions for disabled people, but they are still delivered within the main club structure. These both benefit disabled people to enjoy sport as much as non-disabled people.
For any queries or further information then please email Rebecca Evans at Rebecca.email@example.com or contact Living Sport on 01487 841559.