New research into the importance of adapted sports released by CP Sport

New research released by Cerebral Palsy Sport highlights the importance of their adapted sports programme in supporting people with cerebral palsy to be more active. The results confirm that adapting sports by modifying rules and equipment can enable and encourage more people to take part and enjoy sport and physical activity.

Cerebral Palsy Sport commissioned Sheffield Hallam University Sport Industry Research Centre to evaluate the delivery and impact of the charity’s three adapted sports: RaceRunning, Frame Football and Touch Golf. The study examined each sport to establish if it was fit for purpose and understand the impact that taking part has on participants.

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The new report, titled CP Sport: showing the benefits of adapted sports, highlights key findings about current participation levels in these adapted sports, people’s motivations and barriers to taking part. In addition, how being active makes participants feel physically and mentally. The findings include:

  • Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of survey respondents did not take part in any form of physical activity before taking part in one or more adapted sports.
  • Nine in ten (90 per cent) people who have taken part in CP Sport’s adapted sports said it was fun and enjoyable.
  • Eight in ten (83 per cent) participants said the activities help them to keep physically active.
  • Since taking part in an adapted sport, participants reported that they are now physically active more often – average increase of 45 minutes per day.
  • Seven in ten (77 per cent) participants feel that their self-esteem and confidence has improved as a result of taking part in an adapted sport.
  • There was a significant increase in people’s feelings of overall life satisfaction after taking part in CP Sport’s adapted sport activities. Life satisfaction scores increased from ‘good’ (3.13 mean score) to ‘very good’ (4.46 mean score) based on a 1-5 scale with 1 being ‘poor’ and 5 being ‘excellent’.

Talking about the importance of this research for people with cerebral palsy, Ali Talbot, Chief Executive of Cerebral Palsy Sport said:

“Adapted sports is at the heart of our charity’s sports development programme and we are delighted to have worked with Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Industry Research Centre on such an important piece of research into adapted sports for people with cerebral palsy.

 “The findings from this study highlight the impact and need to develop adapted sports, to meet the needs of people with cerebral palsy and other impairments, who want to be more physically active and take part in sport. We are indebted to the many individuals and families that have supported this research project and contributed to its unique findings. We look forward to working with our partners to develop the adapted sports of RaceRunning, Frame football and Touch Golf so many more people can access these sporting opportunities.”

 These results follow the recent announcement from World Para Athletics that RaceRunning will be included in competitions from 2018. This news and the latest research provides further confirmation that Cerebral Palsy Sport’s work to develop and deliver adapted sports has been successful.

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Ali Talbot, continued:

“We will continue to put people with cerebral palsy and other associated conditions at the heart of what we do. This research provides us with a great platform to improve our adapted sport opportunities so that more people can enjoy being active and reach their full potential in sport.” 

Cerebral Palsy Sport will use this insight to help grow the profile of adapted sports. They will also continue to educate partners and other sports organisations on how they can adapt sports to make them more accessible and appealing to people with cerebral palsy. In the future, they also plan to expand on this research to review their other activities and sports programmes. Plus, develop more opportunities with National Governing Bodies of sport.

Cerebral Palsy Sport would like to thank Sheffield Hallam University, Quest 88, the FA, England Golf and The Golf Foundation, the English Federation of Disability Sport, coaches, parents and participants for their support and contribution to this project.

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 CP Sport: benefits of adapted sports report is available in PDF format here: CP Sport showing the benefits of adapted sports

For further information, please contact:

Name: Lisa Morton-Smith, Cerebral Palsy Sport National Sports Development Manager

Email: lisa.morton-smith@cpsport.org          Telephone: 07496 333096