Learners, parents and educators’ perceptions of the benefits and barriers to participation in sport among children with disabilities

  • P Struthers
  • J Surujlal
  • G Harrington
  • N Shibane
  • CK Bevan
  • L Wakefield
  • L Cupido
  • T Thomas
  • A Sampson
Keywords: Disability, parents, educators, learners, sport, participation.


Of the estimated 500 million people with disabilities around the world, 120-150 million are children. Limited research exists on learners’, parents’ and teachers’ perceptions of the benefits and barriers associated with participation in sport for children with disabilities. The purpose of
this study was to investigate what learners with disabilities attending two special schools in the Cape Metropole in the Western Cape, teachers and parents perceive as the barriers and benefits associated with participation in sport for children with disabilities. Permission to undertake the
study was obtained from the University of Western Cape, the Western Cape Education Department, the school principals, educators, parents and learners. The data collection method was a cross-sectional survey using a self-administered questionnaire. The sample included 30 learners, 33 parents and 17 educators. The data were analysed using the World Health
Organisation (WHO) Epi Info 6 Statistical Package. The findings indicate that all three groups perceived that there are more benefits than barriers related to participation in sport. Although the sample was drawn from two schools at two different education districts, the findings may also
apply to other school populations, which learners with similar disabilities attend.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1117-4315