Portugal: Pathways of Sport for People with Disabilities

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Springer Nature
Although Portugal has come a long way in the promotion and organization of disability sports, still a lot is to be done. Portuguese legal framework is rather progressive and supportive of inclusion (e.g. Portugal was one of the first countries in the world to include the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in national law and to structurally move away from the medical model for framing and addressing people with disabilities). This had a major impact at many levels, but the process of changing the society, and particularly the sport system, has been quite slow, though continuous, and without meaningful backs and forwards. This means Portugal seems to be on a good track towards inclusion but needs to keep giving meaningful steps. The scarcity of resources systematically allocated is not a big help, but this has also been changing (e.g. Paralympic athletes have now equivalent individual financial support as Olympic athletes), Still there is a lot to do particularly on grassroots disability sport, sport clubs, and seemingly on the promotion of adapted physical activity, beyond formal and competitive sport alone. This chapter describes how disability sports is organized in Portugal, within the context of the whole sport system and policy framework. Also, participation numbers are presented, together with identified barriers and facilitators to disability sport. Hopefully this chapter provides a good support to help identify and stimulate further efforts towards an unnoticed and natural inclusion of disability sports in the scope of the sport system and the overall society. © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Mataruna-Dos-Santos, L.J., Vitorino, A., Pimenta, N.M. (2023). Portugal: Pathways of Sport for People with Disabilities. In: van Lindert, C., Scheerder, J., Brittain, I. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Disability Sport in Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-21759-3_20