Sport empowers Europe… and You!

Sport contributes to the individual health and physical wellbeing in Persons with a Disability (PWD). According to the research, sports may also be considered as an important empowerment tool for PWD. 

There is widespread agreement that empowerment is a multidimensional and interdependent process that will enable PWD participate meaningfully in shaping their own futures. Without genuine empowerment, participation and inclusion can quickly become a token exercise. Without meaningful participation, empowerment can remain an empty, unfulfilled promise. 

Therefore, empowerment and participation are deeply complementary and can be considered both means and ends, processes and outcomes.

In this context, sport may represent a vehicle to empower PWD. The empowerment of PWD leads to a greater autonomy and encourage them to make their own choices. It increases their participation into the society and therefore it contributes to the concept of social inclusion.

The project ‘Sport Empowers E(U)’ intends to contribute to the empowerment of PWD through offering specific selected sport activities. The extent to which sport activities for PWD succeeds in the empowerment of the users of the services depends on the ‘empowering quality’ of the offered sport program / sport activities.

The project objectives are:

  1. To understand the components of the Vrijbaan Empowerment Framework (VEF) and to explore how sport activities can contribute to empower PWD.
  2. To design, test and evaluate a compendium of specific sports activities that contribute to the components of the VEF.
  3. To identify criteria for selecting ‘best practice examples’ of sport activities that contribute to the VEF.