chapter  1
12 Pages

Athlete as anthropologist, anthropologist as athlete

When the quotation above was penned just over three decades ago, the attitude expressed would have been seen by those in the medical fraternity as somewhat enlightened. This would not be the case today, particularly if you, the reader, have experience of the contemporary Paralympic Movement. In the public consciousness it would be seen as politically inappropriate to refer to an impairment as tragic. Today an impairment may offer resistance to achievement in one’s chosen field of endeavour, but we all face certain obstacles on the way to our goals. Recently there has been a push to establish rights for the disabled communitas1 globally. In 2006 the United Nations established a Treaty on Rights for the Disabled that included issues regarding access to sport and leisure provision (article 30), which it is hoped will go some way to addressing issues of access to sporting and leisure provision for all.