Disability Within Sports
Alexandra Wade - January 11, 2023


By Shel Silverstein

My dad gave me one dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes -- I guess he didn't know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And then I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head --
Too proud of me to speak!

Sports is growing into a more inclusive community than ever before. The appeal of sporting games is the unity that they provide. In game, race or sexuality seems to be forgotten as a group of diverse individuals work tirelessly together to achieve one common end goal. This sense of solidarity should be used in other aspects of society as well.

Getty Images/DigitalVision/Trevor Williams

People sometimes assume that people with physical or mental problems can’t engage in physical activities like sports. This is a widespread fallacy. Sports may significantly empower disabled persons to surpass conventional standards and combat implicit bias. People with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities can participate in group activities that they would otherwise be excluded from because of their differences by joining sports teams.

Women with disabilities frequently face double prejudice based on both their gender and their handicap, making sports particularly transformative for them. According to reports, just one-third of the athletes with impairments competing in international competitions are female, and 93% of women with disabilities are not active in sports. Sports can aid in lowering gender stereotypes and unfavorable opinions of women with disabilities by giving them the chance to participate and show off their physical prowess. This is very useful in not only empowering women to take advantage of opportunities outside of their comfort zone but helps provide representation for a marginalized group.

Sports can assist in achieving the sustainable development goals of the UN by enhancing the well-being of people with disabilities. Sports-based opportunities can promote gender equality by allowing women and girls with disabilities to gain health information, skills, social networks, and leadership experience. It may also help achieve the goal of universal primary education by reducing the stigma that prevents children with disabilities from attending school and increasing employment and lower levels of poverty and hunger by boosting self-confidence.