Changing Perceptions is Ongoing
One of the changes that I have seen since the 2012 games is how all people are thinking very differently about disability sport. Children were always accepting of disabled athletes and their sports equipment. Whether it be a racing or basketball chair or anything else they just think is cool
About three years ago I received a really sad letter from a young man who wanted a prosthetic running leg. His mum had told him he didn't need one and they were too expensive. I'm glad I read the letter properly before I started approaching people to try and get sponsorship. It run red out he wasn't a leg amputee so his mum was right.
I've been doing a bit of vey slow and painful training this week and several people have stopped to ask to have a go. I quickly realised there are a number of things that I take for granted like the muscle memory of how to push, manoeuvring around bends and corners and being on the road. It is pretty hard trying to teach a complete beginner everything they need to know about the sport to be able to make it enjoyable enough in a short space of time.
As each person got in some more people wanted to try ann was happy to let them as they begin to needy sane a little bit more about the sport. Non disabled people did race in the past. The people who had the biggest problem with it were other non disabled people. The weren't pretending to be disabled and the vast majority had Nono difficulty with it.
One of the biggest challenges with disability sport is that people are interested b they do t always know where to go and watch. Athletes at last weeks anniversary Games were saying that he continued marketing is essential because if people don't know where events are going to be how can they buy tickets
There may have been twenty thousand people watching the third day of the athletics, which is in the top ten of crowds outside games time but I think more could have been done. If sports governing bodies miss the opportunity of marketing the disability sport then they are missing a big trick.
There is currently a public consultation on sport in England and this is a really good opportunity to say what the future of sport should be. Inclusivity is one thing but also the governing bodies need to take more responsibility. Disability sport deserves better and disabled athletes deserve better