Why should national disability-sport and para-sport organisations connect to local stakeholder networks?

Local stakeholder network

  • A Local Stakeholder Network helps to …
    • Understand the real needs at the local level.
    • Make a local EWoS Event happen.
    • Allow the EWoS Event to create legacy for physical activities and sports offered in the respective community.
    • Allow the EWoS Event to create opportunities for higher day-to-day sports participation of people with a disability.
    • Make inclusion a reality.

 

Participation and involvement

  • Participation and Community Involvement should be considered as a value itself, acknowledging the local population´s right to determine what happens on their own doorstep.
  • Besides this moral claim, it also has a functional perspective:
    • Getting the local population involved helps to create a sense of ownership and shared responsibility.
    • It helps to actually meet existing local needs and can help to reduce dependencies from external financial and social capital.

 

Opportunities and advantages

An EWoS Event initiated by a national disability-sport or para-sport organisation makes a valuable contribution to raise awareness.

However, if this shall lead into higher day-to-day participation in sport, the next step is to increase low barrier participation opportunities.

  • This means that sporting opportunities must be created that are:
    • easy to reach and accessible,
    • rather in-formal and less demanding, and
    • open for anyone.

 

  • The sporting opportunities must be implemented …
    • at the local level,
    • on a regular basis, and
    • by local stakeholders who serve as everyday contact and person of trust.

An EWoS Event provides a perfect opportunity to establish, strengthen or extend this type of local stakeholder network.

Specific notes for para-sports

Olympic elite-sports structures immensely gain from talent created by an athlete’s pathway from foundation to participation to performance and finally to elite.

However, Paralympic sports often lack foundations set through school-sports and grass-roots sports engagement.

For any change, results of previous EPC projects at the European level have shown that the Paralympic Movement in Europe must strengthen all four elements of its “development chain”:

Awareness > Participation > Competition > Excellence

 

Therefore, connecting and supporting local level sport structures is key for the establishment of sustaining Paralympic Athlete Pathways.