The benefits of physical exercise and sports

The most valuable aspect of a sport for most people, with and without disabilities,  is the enjoyment derived from playing sports; the training to maintain and improve one’s own performance or the team.   

– ROY McConkey

Sport can help reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with disability because it can transforms community attitudes about persons with disabilities by highlighting their skills and reducing the tendency to see the disability instead of the person. Through sport, persons without disabilities interact with persons with disabilities in a positive context forcing them to reshape assumptions about what persons with disabilities can and cannot do.

Sport changes the person with disability in an equally profound way by empowering persons with disabilities to realize their full potential and advocate for changes in society.  Through sport, persons with disabilities acquire vital social skills, develop independence, and become empowered to act as agents of change.  Sport teaches individuals how to communicate effectively as well as the significance of teamwork and cooperation and respect for others.  Sport is also well-suited to reducing dependence and developing greater independence by helping persons with disabilities to become physically and mentally stronger.  These skills can be transferred into other new arenas including employment and advocacy work further helping to build self-sufficiency. 

– United Nations, Disability and Sports

– Theresa Sheridan