Common Issues Affecting Disabled Athletes

Being disabled means having to deal with a long list of different and unique problems, but this list is expanded for those that want to become involved in some kind of sport. From isolation to a lack of local opportunities, the average disabled athlete needs to face a range of hurdles before they find the right sport.

These are common issues affecting athletes with disabilities.


Although Article 30.5 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides for the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in athletics at least in the US, many organisations have claimed that there are still discriminatory attitudes. In instances of mainstream sports where athletes perform on the same squad irrespective of the existence or lack of any disability, attitudes concerning disabilities players ‘ capacity or capacity as well as security issues may prevail, restricting involvement. When sport is specific to disabilities, problems with facilities, equivalent training time and knowledgeable trainers are often a problem. But much like sky diving or enjoying Australian Open betting, many find that taking the risk is worth their time.

Negative Attitudes

Stereotypes, attitudes, hypotheses and opinions often merge to produce a stigma about disabled individuals. These obstacles to being involved in athletics can make a disabled individual less likely to participate in these activities. This is particularly true for females with disabilities. Only about 7 per cent of females with disabilities practice frequently or engage in any kind of sport.

Community Opportunities

Opportunities for disabled athletes may not be available in sporting operations specifically aimed at those that have some kind of disability. This may be because there are fewer grassroots possibilities within individual groups while competitive organisations are less accessible at a domestic and global level.


Another challenge facing athletes with physical and mental challenges is isolation. Although this is not always the situation, their colleagues and other figures can often choose to ignore the needs and wants of someone wanting to participate. This can become a serious problem for those that want to try and join a group-related activity, but don’t quite know who to turn to and who would take them seriously.


Poverty and disability also have a powerful connection. Without adequate care or education, the danger of becoming poor or homeless is higher for those with disabilities. For example, according to a study in the United Kingdom, the poverty rate for disabled persons was 23.1% compared to 17.9% for non-disabled persons, but when additional expenses associated with being disabled were considered, the poverty rate for disabled persons shot up to 47.4%.


A tragedy facing some athletes with physical or mental disabilities is violence or disregard.

Often, those that suffer from some kind of disability will be forced to face less-than-empathetic individuals, making it difficult to integrate into a social or sporting group.