Community Series #2: Disability Sports

12 Mar 2019

RCMA Group Download the slides here  |  Watch the video here
Singapore Disability Sports Council Download the slides here  |  Watch the video here
Special Olympics Asia Pacific Download the slides here  |  Watch the video here

RCMA Group hosted our 2nd Community Series on the topic of Disability Sports in Singapore and beyond, with four other non-profit and corporate partners who shared about their experiences in the sector and how organisations can pitch in.

Here are three key insights from the event:

1. Disability Sports help even the playing field

In a 2016 National Council of Social Services (NCSS) survey on Quality of Life, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) reported a lower quality of life than others and reported poorly on areas like their level of social support and level of independence.

Adapted sports such as blind soccer, hand cycling and other sports help even the playing field for PwDs, building up their confidence while showing everyone that disabilities don’t disqualify them from doing sports. Sports have been identified as one of the key aspects to enable them to enjoy a better quality of life. To tap on that potential, SportSG launched the Disability Sports Masterplan, which spells out plans to build more inclusive sports facilities and year-round events where everyone can participate, among others.

2. It’s not them, it’s us

One thing that all the speakers noted was that it is no longer just about increasing the number of opportunities, but about looking past the labels and getting employees and volunteers to meaningfully engage with PwDs – for one non-profit, this was as simple as not having the word “Para” on the event shirts. On a broader scale, this demands a mindset shift in the way we perceive and interact with them. As one speaker explains, “It’s not about helping them in sports – they can play just fine and are likely to be even better than us – but about enjoying yourself and having your eyes open when you play with them.

3. Paving the way for true accessibility

While the non-profit partners reiterated the importance of current corporate support – such as in buying tickets to events, sponsorship of athletes and equipment, and volunteering of man hours for key events – they also expressed their wish for a day where disability sports won’t just be played during key events, but any time and any day. Such sports demand more specialised equipment, accessible spaces to play, and a wider awareness of such sports.

What will it take for this vision of true accessibility to play for people of all backgrounds and abilities? Such an endeavour would take the support and collaboration of many organisations pitching in their manpower, time and resources towards the cause.

Watch the video presentations here. You may also download a copy of these insights below.