If you’re a person with a disability, impairment or limitation looking for a way to get involved in sport (or you’re a person looking on their behalf), we encourage you to read ahead to find the organisation that will best suit your needs.
The benefits of sport
Sport benefits people of all abilities. Sport teaches us teamwork and problem-solving skills. It boosts our self-esteem and is good for our physical health and mental wellbeing.
The Clearing House for Sport, which catalogues a range of research from the sporting sector, outlines specific benefits relating to Sport and Persons with Disability.
Eligibility and Classification
Classification and Eligibility in sport exists so that athletes of all abilities have equal opportunities to compete and be successful in sport. Classification groups athletes who have similar impairments together into classes for competition in their sport.
Each NSOD and the subsequent sports they offer, has a different classification system and this is usually based on the different types of disabilities, impairments and limitations.
These systems are designed to give participants, competitors and athletes, the best experience possible and help them become the best that they can be.
Blind Sports Australia
Blind Sports Australia is a national sporting organisation for blind and vision impaired sport. Blind Sports Australia helps create pathways and opportunities for blind sports participation from grassroots community level, right up to elite competition at national and international level.
They work with their members and other disability sporting organisations across Australia to grow blind sporting opportunities for people who are blind or have low vision and raise awareness of blind sports across the community.
Visit the Blind Sports Australia website to see what sports you can play and how you can get involved as a coach, official or volunteer.
Deaf Sports Australia
Deaf Sports Australia provide opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing people to participate in sport at different levels from grassroots to international level.
Deaf Sports Australia provides professional services to all ages, levels and sports. This involves running programs for deaf and hard of hearing children in schools, workshops for sports clubs and associations, as well as providing assistance for elite athletes and sports modifications.
To find out what sports you can play, or how you can assist as a coach, official or volunteer, visit the Deaf Sports Australia website where you can get involved today.
Disability Sports Australia
Disability Sports Australia (DSA) is one of Australia’s nine (9) National Sporting Organisations for people with a disability (NSODs), all of whom share a common purpose to improve the lives of Australians living with a disability using sport as the medium.
Our vision is: Active lives for all Australians with a disability.
Our mission is: To enable more Australians with a disability to be more active more often.
At DSA, we aim to connect Australians with disabilities to local active and adaptive opportunities through trusted programs like the National Referral Hub, Activate Inclusion Sports Days, Sports Incubator and Accessibility Champion Course.
Disabled Wintersport Australia
Disabled Wintersport Australia is an organisation with a national perspective taking responsibility for the development of disability winter sport in Australia.
From their programs some of the world’s finest alpine skiers have emerged recording victories at the highest level of international competition. The organisation’s members range from recreational skiers to Australia’s Winter Paralympians.
To view our membership options, our programs and services, visit the Disabled Wintersport Australia website to find out how you can get involved.
Paralympics Australia helps Australians with disabilities participate in sport and compete at the Paralympic Games through partnerships with governments, business, sporting bodies and the community.
Paralympics Australia partners with National Sporting Organisations to train and prepare teams for the Paralympic Games, while inspiring the next generation of Australian athletes.
Get involved in Para-sport today by visiting the Paralympics Australia website
Riding for the Disabled Australia
Riding for the Disabled Australia is a voluntary, nonprofit organisation which provides opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe, healthy, therapeutic, horse-related activities in Australia.
As the peak body for equestrian sport for people with disabilities, they support member groups and volunteers to provide great experiences for participants.
Whether you’re looking to ride or help people ride, visit the Riding for the Disabled Australia website to find out how you can get involved.
Special Olympics Australia
Special Olympics Australia is part of a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities.
By helping to give people opportunities to play sport, together we can open the door to personal achievement, pride and inclusion for some of the most marginalised and isolated members of our community.
If you have an intellectual disability and you want to play sport with Special Olympics Australia, visit their website to see how you can get involved.
Sport Inclusion Australia
Sport Inclusion Australia has worked within the Australian sporting sector for over 30 years with outstanding success. They are proud of the increasing numbers of sporting organisations and clubs taking responsibility for inclusion with the focus on ability and based on social inclusion principles.
Sport Inclusion Australia is affiliated with Virtus, the global organisation that governs, advocates, organises and promotes elite sport for athletes with an intellectual impairment. Sport Inclusion Australia works with National Sporting Organisations to help athletes train for and compete in international competition.
To get in touch with Sport Inclusion Australia or the state based member organisations, click here to go to their website.
Transplant Australia is a charity which supports transplant recipients and their families. They lead programs which encourage physical activity to increase survival rates in transplant recipients, like the Australian Transplant Games and Fit for Life.
Transplant Australia promotes awareness of the importance of organ donation, with the goal of ensuring that every Australian who needs a transplant one day has access to one.
To view the sports they play, learn more about the Australian Transplant Games and get information about membership and organ donation, click here to visit their website.