How to Raise the Awareness of People with Disabilities in Sports?

How to Raise the Awareness of People with Disabilities in Sports?

Sports, in general, is a very popular phenomenon. It is a part of the popular culture and part of who we have become as humans. It is hard to imagine a life without being able to watch a football or a basketball match, or not be able to participate in one.

However, the disparity between the attention that regular sports and the one that sports with people with disabilities get is huge. For example, any popular online sports betting company usually gives out promotions related to regular sports events and not para events. Something can definitely be done to raise awareness about it to bring it closer to the general audience. 

In the remainder of this article, we’ll list some of the things we believe should be done to achieve this.

Promote the Paralympics

Each time the Olympics approach, everybody is talking about it. There is a lot of hype around the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which is understandable. Sports fans are excited about seeing their favourite athletes and their national teams in action. 

However, very little is being said about the Paralympics which happen around the same time. Therefore, a lot more should be done by the national sports associations to promote both their able-bodied athletes and para-athletes. Both of them are working equally hard to promote their country and bring medals back home. 

Organize Events with Para Athletes

Another way in which athletes with disabilities could be promoted is by organizing events with that intention. The main problem with the low awareness of people about para-athletes is that they do not know a lot about it. 

Much can be done through events in which para-athletes would talk about their journey, their achievements and their problems. Participants can also allow the audience to see them live in action and realize that para-sports events are just as interesting as regular sports events. 

Include Para Athletic Events on TV

Another big problem that needs to be addressed to change the overall climate in the public is to include more para athletic events on TV. Right now, TV broadcasters are mainly focusing on regular sports. It’s very easy to watch the Champions League, Premier League, the NBA, or tennis stars such as Djokovic and Nadal. 

However, if you want to see Paralympics, for example, you will have a hard time finding a TV channel that broadcasts it. Therefore, popular sports channels should do more on their part to give more air time to sportsmen and sportswomen with disabilities. 

Include Able-Bodied People in Para Events

One of the reasons why sports with athletes with disabilities are not so popular is that people find it hard to relate to those athletes. Therefore, one thing that can be done is to give able-bodied people a chance to see what it’s like to be a para-athlete. 

For example, during some para events, spectators have a chance to sit in a wheelchair and try to play basketball or another sport with para-athletes. That is a great way to better understand the issues they are facing and become more interested in their achievements.

Encourage Children with Disabilities to Participate in Sports

Last but not least, we should do our best to encourage children and young people with disabilities to participate in sports. The more successful para-athletes are, the more awareness they will be able to raise.