Did you know that only 17% of disabled people report engaging in sport once a week – half as many as non-disabled people – with the majority of those who were not engaged citing a lack of accessibility as a significant barrier?

This is exactly what Disability Sports Coach aims to tackle, by providing high quality sporting opportunities for disabled people throughout the UK – and, since COVID-19 led us all online - worldwide.

Currently, we serve over 19,000 disabled people in 13 boroughs with our inclusive community sports activities. However, another key element of our work is providing coaching and training to educate sports providers in inclusive adaptations.

The challenge

From SEN and mainstream school to leisure centres, corporate companies, charities, community groups and more, we are spreading the message far and wide about the importance of inclusive sport for disabled people – and how to deliver it.

In 2019, we identified a growing demand for convenient, low cost online learning opportunities that would allow individuals and organisations to get up to speed with the fundamentals of inclusive sport provision.

The solution

After researching the field, we were drawn to eLearning as an option that provided accessible virtual learning, which would allow users to train at their own pace, in their own time, whilst negating the need to travel to face-to-face settings.

In partnership with Elearn4business (E4B), a leading provider of eLearning solutions to the physical activity and active leisure sectors, we developed our eLearning course: Disability Awareness in Sport, which is delivered via our learning hub and provides the basic knowledge of inclusive sport to the sector at large.

This course includes education around The Equality Act of 2010, the Inclusion Spectrum and STEPS principals, along with appropriate use of language to support disabled participants in sport.

The quiz functionality of eLearning was also a bonus, enabling users to check their knowledge and receive certification of their training once completed.

Impact and aims

Whilst the training system is still in the early phases, we have high hopes for where eLearning could take the charity’s aims. Thus far, a range of organisations have benefitted from the training, including Unity Works, Premier Education, London Sports Trust, Caxton Youth Organisation and the ICM Foundation.

Over the next few years, we hope to increase the number of teachers, coaches, leaders and volunteers who have an understanding of how to include disabled people in their activities by providing this highly flexible approach to learning to delegates, reaching a wide pool of providers.

As the industry begins to return to in-person sport, now is a key time to ensure that disabled people can enjoy the full benefits of being active – and this means a sports sector run by individuals with a knowledge of inclusive practices. Through our eLearning: Disability Awareness in Sport course, we hope to be at the forefront of making this need a reality.

Rob Latter, Learning Solutions Director from Elearn4business comments:

"We are delighted to have created and made available a tailored and accessible disability awareness in sport online course in partnership with the team at Disability Sports Coach. It is great to see the impact this type of training is having on coaches, teachers, volunteers etc. through our user survey results and other feedback from those delivering sessions”.

Peter Ackred, Chief Executive of Disability Sports Coach says:

“I am delighted to continue the partnership with Elearn4business in providing online access through our Disability Awareness in Sport course allowing more people to learn about inclusive sport. There has previously been a lack of sufficient opportunities for disabled people to access sport and physical activities, but with this course being available online and able to be completed anywhere in the world, Disability Sports Coach now has the opportunity to educate sports leaders and ultimately close this gap.”

To learn more about the course please click here.