Women and Athletes with High Support Needs in Paralympic Sport: Progress and Further Opportunities for Underrepresented Populations

  • Chloe Slocum
  • Suzy Kim
  • Cheri Blauwet


Over the past half-century, the evolution of Paralympic sport has exponentially increased opportunities for elite sports competition for athletes with disabilities while revolutionising conceptual frameworks about sport and disability. Despite the rapid growth of the Paralympic Movement, women and athletes with high support needs (AHSN) have remained underrepresented. Both female athletes with disabilities and AHSN have historically faced distinct barriers to sports participation and underrepresentation at elite levels of competition in Paralympic sport. Nonetheless, social and cultural trends promoting inclusion, such as increased visibility and grass-roots opportunities for sports participation, have contributed to an overall increase in participation by athletes in both groups. New areas of Paralympic sports research are needed to inform future strategies that maximise inclusion while ensuring elite sports competition.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chloe Slocum
    • 1
  • Suzy Kim
    • 2
  • Cheri Blauwet
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.St. Jude Centers for Rehabilitation & WellnessBreaUSA

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