Young people share top tips on making PE inclusive in our new resource

Inclusive sport and P.E.

The involvement of children and young people with a spinal cord injury in physical education and school sport is often one of the biggest hurdles to their inclusion in schools.  Here they share their views on how to make physical education inclusive:

  • Ask me what I like to do in PE, both before and after the accident (and ask my parent too). Don’t be afraid to ask me for ideas on how I can be included
  • Always make me feel involved and do not leave me left sat on the side-lines, feeling left out or excluded
  • Try and do as many activities that I can do as possible - sports that can be adapted, like basketball or table tennis so I can take part just like the other pupils
  • Do a normal PE lesson, but always adapt it so I can take part. Do it in such a way that it is not obvious and everyone in the class gets something out of it
  • If you are doing a team sport or are working in a group make me a captain
  • Be adventurous with your adaptations to an activity
  • As my PE teacher, to talk to the school about what they can put in place to support me
  • Do floor activities where everyone is on the same level as I am
  • Do swimming pool games (this is good exercise for me)
  • Think about the PE class coming to my local fitness suite with me
  • Get able bodied children to play in chairs if possible (e.g. wheelchair basket ball) or get a local sports club to come in and do demonstrations or Back Up to speak to the school
  • If I don’t want to get involved in the main activity, get me involved in other ways (e.g. scoring, refereeing, and setting up coaching drills) but don’t offer this as the only solution, include me as much as possible so I am equal to my peers
  • Explore the possibility of having my physiotherapist involved in the planning of the PE lesson
  • Make sure the other children are understanding about what I can and can’t do
  • Don’t be afraid to try, if it doesn't work we’ll do it differently next time
For more tips and strategies on including children and young people with a spinal cord injury in physical education read the updated section of our Inclusive Education Toolkit:

3.5 Accessing physical education