chapter  2
A social history of sport for the disabled
Pages 23

A comprehensive history of sport for the disabled has yet to be written, and, as an anthropologist, it would be remiss to suggest that a single chapter in a monograph might achieve this aim. No doubt such a project requires a volume of its own. It is important, however, for this monograph to highlight significant trends and ‘moments’ in the history of the Paralympic Movement as well as more broadly within sport for the disabled. There can, of course, be difficulties with writing a ‘potted’ history. Importantly, this chapter must be seen as an ethnocentric account of the history of sport for the disabled since the story that unfolds within it is laden with a heavy Western bias. Records appear to show that organised sport for the disabled communitas was a Western advent (as in fact were many of the sporting practices that are commonplace today), but that does not mean that elsewhere in the world sport as we understand it was not being practised. Documentation surrounding the early development of sport for the disabled appears to point to a Western development (DePauw and Gavron 1995 [2005]) and, more specifically, a beginning in the United Kingdom during the final stages of the Second World War (Goodman 1986; Scruton 1998).