chapter  4
26 Pages

Mainstreaming disability sport: A case study of four sports

As we have explained in the previous chapters of this book, since the mid-1980s increasing emphasis has come to be placed on the process of mainstreaming within the context of disability sport. In Chapter 2, for example, we noted that the aims of the British Sports Association for the Disabled (BSAD), debates at BSAD’s ‘Think Tank’ in 1985, the recommendations of the Minister for Sport’s Review Group in 1989, the Sports Council’s policy on people with a disability in 1993, the New Start conferences between 1995 and 1997 and Sport England’s Equity Guidelines, all focused on shifting the responsibility for disability sport away from disability sport organizations (DSOs) towards mainstream providers such as national governing bodies (NGBs) of sport and local authorities. However, of the various policy statements and conference reports which referred to the alleged need to enhance the mainstreaming of disability sport in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Minister for Sport’s Review Group’s report Building on Ability was perhaps the most significant in helping to increase the salience of mainstreaming in disability and mainstream sport. As part of the review, the group conducted a largescale survey of disability sport in Britain and on the basis of its findings concluded that ‘some (NGBs) see little relevance in their own activities for people with disabilities either now or in the future’ (Minister for Sport’s Review Group, 1989: 18). To tackle this, the report provided the most detailed published account of how NGBs should, in the eyes of the Review Group, mainstream disability sport.