The results of Activity Alliance Annual Disability and Activity Survey are released today which show that disabled people are still being left behind when trying to access sports and physical activities. 

With a summer of sport on the horizon, including the Paralympic Games and the increased awareness it brings, Activity Alliance are calling to make meaningful changes so many more disabled people can enjoy an active lifestyle. 

Key findings include:

·       43% of disabled people feel they have the chance to be as active as they desire, compared to 69% of non-disabled people. Disabled women are more likely feel the disparity in perceived opportunity compared to disabled men (39% vs 48%)

·       Disabled people are less than half as likely to ‘see people like them’ playing, working, and volunteering in sport and physical activity.

·       Disabled people mostly prefer being active in outdoor spaces like parks, countryside, or woodland compared to other locations, but less than half (44%) of disabled people say it’s easy for them to physically access outdoor spaces. This is a significant disparity compared to non-disabled people (78%).

·       Only 9% of disabled people agree they have the opportunity to become a coach or take on a role in delivering sport or physical activity (compared to 24% of non-disabled people).

Adam Blaze, Chief Executive at Activity Alliance, commented on the Activity Alliance social media about the latest report: “As we cheer on medal winners, I urge people to recognise that three-quarters of disabled people in our country want to be more active. Not everyone wants to be or can be a gold medal winner. Everyone has the right to be active where and however they choose to be, but this is not reality when you look at the latest findings in our survey. There are some fantastic examples across the country that challenge this trend, whether within the local community or national programmes, and these need to be available to everyone who wants to be active."

Read the full report on their website: Annual Disability and Activity Survey 2023-2024

Boccia England’s CEO Chris Ratcliffe said, “We welcome the findings from Activity Alliance’s Annual Disability and Activity Survey, especially where is shines a light upon the significant barriers that still face disabled people when trying to be active in their communities. We know that key barriers facing those disabled people who want to play sport in their communities include a lack of opportunities and places to play locally. We also recognise that many disabled people also need support from suitable volunteers to enable them to engage in sport and physical activity. Our own 2024 Big Boccia Survey, which will be published in coming weeks, highlights the benefits that sports like boccia bring to the personal wellbeing of disabled people and their families, helping to increase physical activity at the same time as reducing the problems of social isolation.”

About the Annual Disability and Activity Survey

·       Now in its fifth year, the Annual Disability and Activity Survey continues to track disabled people’s perceptions and experiences of sport and activity.

·       2,320 people (971 disabled people and 1,349 non-disabled people) took part in an online survey between October and November 2023.

·       Following the survey, the findings were explored in co-facilitated online workshops with three groups of disabled people and disabled co-researchers.

·       The Annual Disability and Activity Survey complements Sport England’s Active Lives Adult Survey.

For more information about Activity Alliance please contact: [email protected]

For more information about Boccia England please contact [email protected]