Sport Participation for People with Disabilities: Exploring the Potential of Reverse Integration and Inclusion through Wheelchair Basketball

Rebecca Ramsden, Rick Hayman, Paul Potrac, Florentina Johanna Hettinga*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Reverse integration is defined as the inclusion of able-bodied people into disability sport. For decades, there have been movements towards integrating people with a disability in mainstream society. There has been a lack of research supporting the movement of able-bodied involvement in disability sport, known as reverse integration. In this study, the real-life experiences and motivations of 11 national wheelchair basketball players (four able-bodied and seven with a disability) were explored, identifying the potential of reverse integration and what influenced the players involvement. Thematic analysis was employed using a deductive approach. The social-relational model was used as a framework to help interpret the findings. The results highlighted that health and social benefits were key factors towards prolonged engagement in wheelchair basketball, and it was reported that reverse integration led to an increased mutual understanding of the impact of (dis)ability. All participants reported positive experiences and supported able-bodied involvement, suggesting that able-bodied players play a key role and help to grow the sport locally. However, involvement of able-bodied players was not supported at international level. This challenges the concept of inclusion at higher level and whether the sport could be more inclusive. These findings could provide direction to coaches and policymakers for developing further inclusive opportunities at all levels. Further research may explore coach education programs and learning experiences of becoming an inclusive coach to ensure coaches know how to create, stimulate and coach in inclusive sport environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2491
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2023

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