Canadian children are not reaching their recommended levels of daily physical activity and the issue is more pronounced in children and youth living with disabilities. This group is not only less likely to be physically active, but are also more likely to face barriers to participating in sport such as high cost and minimal social inclusion. This year’s Access and Equity award winners have worked diligently to address this issue in their community.
Limitless Guelph is a one of a kind program that not only offers accessible and inclusive adaptive sport and recreation opportunities, but works to break down the stigma and misconceptions surrounding adaptive sport.
A unique feature of this program is its emphasis on reverse integration, a practice that sees children with and without disabilities participating in the same program.
Through community consultation, the developers of the program came to understand that stigma is a powerful barrier to participation for those living with a disability. For this reason, opening the program up to all youth was a means of equalization and a way to make sport an enjoyable experience for all. The majority of participants had never participated in an adaptive sport before and found the experience challenging and rewarding.
In just two years, Limitless has created 12 free, fully inclusive, adaptive sport programs offered through active outreach to help mitigate barriers related to geography and transportation. As of November 2018, the program had delivered over 600 workshops to local schools to help increase awareness of adaptive sport.