CARA Adapted Physical Activity Centre
In 2003 and 2005, The Institute of Technology Tralee, supported by the Irish Sports Council organised the first two National Adapted Physical Activity Conferences to be held in Ireland. These conferences highlighted three main issues.
- The low levels of participation among people with disabilities in sport and physical activity
- The lack of information throughout Ireland regarding sport and physical activity opportunities available to individuals with disabilities.
- The lack of awareness within sporting and disability organisations with regards to the needs of people with disabilities.
Following the 2005 Adapted Physical Activity conference 'Getting it Right-Including People wit Disabilities', a report by the National Disability Authority' Promoting the Participation of People with Disabilities in Physical Activity and Sport in Ireland' indicated the urgent need for a coordinated approach to accelerate progress in achieving access, inclusion and quality participation in sport and physical activity.
In November 2007, supported by the Irish Sports Council and the Institute of Technology Tralee, the CARA Adapted Physical Activity Centre was established.
The main aim of the CARA APA Centre is to facilitate an increase in the number of people with disabilities participating in sport and physical activity, through increasing opportunities to participate, improving access, providing information on and organising delivering training.
Additionally the CARA APA Centre will undertake and coordinate research, support APA developments at third level institutions and other relevant courses and assist in the developments of both local and national sport and physical activity strategies.
To enable the CARA APA Centre achieve its main aim the following objectives were developed. (1) To coordinate and support the work of 21 Sports Inclusion Disability Officers (SIDOs) throughout Ireland and (2) To develop as a National Resource Centre working in partnership with Local Sports Partnerships, the National Coaching and Training Centre, National Governing Bodies, Disability Organisations, National Disability Authority,Schools, International links and other relevant sporting organisations.
Through effective working partnerships with key stakeholders, the CARA Adapted Physical Activity Centre has begun to develop a national framework that will make full participation in sport and physical activity for people with disabilities a reality.
Guidelines on Inclusion in Sport and Physical Activity
On Tuesday 19th October 2010 SportsABILITY Guidelines were launched in County Hall. This document will act as an aid to various education programmes run by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Sports Partnership, and will help local clubs and sports facilities towards including people with a disability into their sport. We hope it will broaden the knowledge of volunteers and staff and break down some barriers to participation that some people with disabilities experience. It's about awareness raising and making potential new participants feel welcome and confident in their new club.