The leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity urges leaders to make disabled people a priority now to prevent the long-term effects of inactivity.
The call comes on the day Activity Alliance releases their latest Annual Survey that shows the pandemic’s true impact on disabled people’s activity.
The call to prioritise disabled people in sport and leisure as new research reveals huge pandemic impact
Activity Alliance is urging decision makers in sport and leisure to prioritise disabled people as they strive to recover from the pandemic. The leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity is seriously concerned about the potential long-term damage on the nation’s least active. The call comes on the day the national charity releases their latest Annual Disability and Activity Survey. The new research shows twice as many disabled people felt that coronavirus greatly reduced their ability to do sport or physical activity compared to non-disabled people.
Evidence shows disabled people’s lives have been the hardest hit by COVID-19. Accounting for two-thirds of the deaths from coronavirus, this is a national crisis for public health and one that is being felt most sharply by disabled people. It has led to many disabled people, who count for one in five of the population, feeling more fearful and ignored.
The stark impact of this crisis on disabled people’s attitudes towards sport and activity is clear in Activity Alliance’s latest Annual Survey. This unique survey explores disabled and non-disabled people’s activity and views to help grow insight and shape future opportunities.
Activity Alliance exists to reduce the fairness gap between disabled and non-disabled people’s activity levels. Prior to the pandemic, collectively we were starting to close this gap, with more disabled people recorded being active than ever before. Yet, disabled people are still twice as likely as non-disabled people to be inactive.
Barry Horne, Chief Executive at Activity Alliance, commented on the latest research:
“The benefits of being active are clear. It matters for everyone’s physical and mental health and has enormous impact on our daily lives. So, it is never acceptable that disabled people should not reap these benefits too.
“We appreciate we have a national crisis on our hands and leaders need to make tough decisions in sport and leisure. But we have not heard near enough about the impact on disabled people’s lives during the pandemic. No disabled person should ever feel forgotten or overlooked in the communities we all serve.
“That’s why this insight is so important. We have listened to disabled people and urge decision makers to do the same, and act swiftly upon the findings. If we do not act now, we will witness inequalities widen even further, or unthinkably they may become irreversible. Prioritising disabled people is the only way to prevent this from happening. Every plan, every action and every penny spent must be tested against its impact on disabled people’s activity.”