Paralympic Sport and Social Justice: Towards a Happy Marriage or Difficult Separation?
Over the last 25 years, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and its network of national affiliates have placed integration of disabled people firmly on the sporting agenda, a process widely regarded as a positive step. Access to high-performance sporting provision is, however, problematic for two reasons. Firstly, the nature of high-performance sport is such that some people will always be excluded due to a lack of ability and secondly, the vast number of athletes with a potential to be Paralympians and therefore part of Paralympic programmes are not individuals who are denied access to sporting provision. In terms of increasing access for vulnerable people in the Global South to physical exercise, inclusion and healthy lifestyles, Paralaympic programmes do not fulfil the requirements of a social justice agenda.
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