SPORT AS A SOCIAL INCLUSION CHANNEL
The aim of the programme is to facilitate sports paractice for the disabled in equal conditions in Portugalete.
Portugalete Town Council has launched a Pilot Plan ‘for inclusive development of the Town through Sports’ aimed at the disabled, which is being carried out at the Pando Municipal Sports Centre – Aisia.
The main aim of this programmed driven by the Basque Adapted Sports Federation GaituzSport Project, is to foster and facilitate physical activity and sports among the disabled in Portugalete in equal conditions to the rest of the population.
Physical activity helps improve the quality of life for the disabled positively impacting on key factors such as: health, social inclusion and cohesion.
For Porfirio Hernández, Chairman of the Basque Adapted Sports Federation ‘an advanced society such as ours should guarantee the inclusion and health of all collectives to prevent the risk of social exclusion. Sport is a great integration channel’.
Doing physical exercise is beneficial for the health of the entire population provided it is controlled and adapted to each person’s conditions. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) `sedentarism is one of the major causes of premature death risk worldwide’.
PRACTISING SPORT IN EQUAL CONDITIONS
In the case of the disabled not only is sport beneficial for health but also a social integration and self-improvement channel. However, they are frequently unable to access sports in equal conditions to the rest of the population.
This is why; Portugalete Town Council in collaboration with the Basque Adapted Sports Federation via the GaituzSport Project has launched a Pilot Plan for inclusive development of this Bizkaian population through sports. The Pilot Plan is being carried out at the municipal installations of DEMUPORSA, at the Pando Sports Centre – Aisia, to guarantee the entitlement of the disabled collective to practise sport and improve their quality of life.
The GaituzSport Project encourages physical activity for the disabled, facilitating equal opportunities to achieve social inclusion respecting the diversity of everyone. To quote Porfirio Hernández Zubizarreta, Chairman of the Basque Adapted Sports Federation ‘an advanced society such as ours should guarantee the inclusion and health of all collectives to prevent the risk of social exclusion. Sport is a great integration channel’.
In line with the recommendations of the UN International Charter on the rights of persons with disabilities, Portugalete has decided and aims to be an example of ‘human rights protection and promotion for people with functional diversity via a system of opportunities equal to that of the rest of the population’.
WHAT DOES THIS PROGRAMME OFFER?
- EQUAL opportunities to practise sports
- Personalised INFORMATION
- Professional ADVICE on the most appropriate physical activities for each person
- Specialised INSTRUCTORS
- ACCESSIBILITY and technical assistance
Xabier Leizea, GaituzSport Social Innovation Project Co-ordinator has a positive opinion of this pilot plan in Portugalete, which also aims to act as an example to be taken up by other towns in the Basque Country, in addition to ‘going one step further in the challenge to build an inclusive society, encouraging sports activity as a way to improve the health and quality of life of the disabled, and eliminate social and infrastructural prejudices’.
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