The issue of disability in sports has been a matter of debate, especially when highlighting issues human rights. Besides, the modern society has had a difficult time handling issues pertaining disparities. On the same note, governments, and various institutions have found a sport to be crucial areas that can help the society restructure its ties, because it brings people from diverse backgrounds and with different abilities, thus fostering integration. However, there have been issues of discrimination, torture and even unfair treatment in sport. Various authors and scholars have widely explored the concept of disability in sports. Ted Fay and Eli Wolff are some of the authors that have extensively covered this topic. Their article, Disability in Sport in the Twenty-first Century: Creating a New Sports Opportunity Spectrum highlights some of the contentious issues on disability in sports. This essay is a review of the article.
The authors focus on the various stakeholders of sport especially the organizing bodies and the role they should play in ensuring that the issue of disabilities in sport is managed in a way that does not bring inconveniences the less privileged athletes. In fact, the theme of the role of governing bodies in avoiding segregation comes clear in the article. The authors note that in as much as the bodies insist of right conditions in the sport for the disabled members, access to facilities and opportunities are significantly segregated, thus making it tough for these members of the society to take part in sport. However, the authors also laud organizations and initiatives that have played a crucial role in facilitating the less privileged in sport. An example of such groups is the Disability in Sports Initiative (DISI), which has been active in defending the rights of athletes.
Fay and Wolff bring into context the plight of these athletes in the twenty-first century. They use the Oscar Pistorius case as the basis of the efforts which should be made by Human Rights agencies in facilitating the performance of athletes with disabilities. The authors argue that for a change to be done in the twenty-first century, it would be essential if the concerned stakeholders put into perspective the state of affairs in the twentieth century, and hence strategize on how to improve on it. The findings of this inquest by the authors indicate that it is the disability groups that have been in the forefront in organizing sport for the members of society with disabilities. The authors twist the argument to explain the new phenomenon of the Disability Sport to refer to sports that are specially tailored to suit the situation of the people with disabilities. From the explanations, the authors bring forth the benefits and problems associated with this form of sport. For instance, issues with labeling, little attention and media coverage as well as the lack of sufficient funding of these activities indicate that the people with disabilities are different from other members of society. However, organizing these sports has been crucial in enhancing the self-esteem of athletes.
It is evident that the issue of disability in sport has been critical especially in improving social ties in communities. From the social and political perspective, it is critical for governments and other organizations to chip in to promote the sport. However, it is essential to enhance public sensitization that the support is only special, and does not in any way make the participants minor athletes.
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