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Sector needs a ‘This Girl Can-like’ campaign to engage with disabled people, says Tanni Grey-Thompson

By Matthew Campelli    26 Aug 2016
Tanni Grey-Thompson

Engaging disabled people with targeted campaigns – similar to Sport England’s This Girl Can initiative – can encourage them to take part in more physical activity, according to Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

The former Paralympic athlete and ukactive chair stressed the need for a “fundamental shake-up” to bring physical activity for disabled people into the mainstream.

One of her recommendations to banish the “hidden barriers” to participation involved the inclusion of disabled people among target audiences when producing physical activity marketing materials.

She highlighted the success of the This Girl Can campaign, which, according to Sport England, inspired 2.8m women to participate in physical activity.

“The fact is that many people with impairments don’t want to take part in designated disability activities, they want to take part in regular sessions, but there are hidden barriers blocking their path,” said Grey-Thompson.

“We need to spread awareness so that disabled participation in sports and activity sessions becomes the norm rather than the exception.”

To complement targeted marketing, Grey-Thompson added that sport sector staff need to be "upskilled" to learn how to interact with disabled people.

According to the latest Sport England Active People Survey, disabled people are half as likely to be active as non-disabled people.

Tanni Grey-Thompson  ukactive  Sport England  participation 
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