Sport and Disability Essay

Words: 3073
Pages: 13


Sport is a significant part of this world; it acts as a social construction (DePauw & Gavron, 1995). It offers individuals a time to socialise and build a relationship with each other. Individuals with disabilities have always been present in society, although they experienced exclusion and not recognised as a “normal” person. In terms of sport, mentally retarded persons were thought to not understand the rules of the sport and therefore were left out. Physically disabled were thought of not having the ability to participate and therefore they were excluded from sport participation.

In earlier times, a disability was defined as a person with a physical impairment. In today’s world, the preferred terminology is using the
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Deaf sport can be defined as sport in which Deaf athletes compete; a parallel unit to able-bodied (hearing) sport in which athletes with hearing impairments participate (DePauw & Gavron, 1995). However, athletes with hearing impairments and deafness are not usually considered as part of disabled sport, but with any limitation to the human body, a person is classified as disabled (DePauw & Gavron, 1995). Organised sport for deaf athletes has been present in our society for decades. A deaf Frenchman, E. Rubens-Alcais, is credited with creating the first International Silent Games. Formal international competition in deaf sport began with the 1924 Paris Silent Games, organized by the Comité International des Sports des Sourds, CISS (The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf) [Disabled World, 2010]. The organisation is known today as the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf. Their purpose is to create more and better athletes with higher standards for excellence, a significant level of international recognition, an increased and sound budget, and an efficient and effective organization (International Committee of Sports for the Deaf, 2010). These games evolved into the modern Deaflympics, governed by the CISS. The CISS maintains separate