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We are not on the sidelines, we are in the team

Youth Group Other News

We’re not on the sideline, we are in the team

dsport Manager Catriona McBean is recruiting research participants for her PhD research into disability sport. Catriona, through a University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship is looking into young people with physical impairments' engagement in sport and active recreation.


We’re not on the sideline, we are in the team

Researching Young People with Physical Impairments engagement in sport and active recreation

95,000 young New Zealander's identify as disabled.

According to Sport New Zealand (Sport NZ) disabled young people are under-represented in participation in sport and active recreation

During my time working and volunteering in the sector, I have observed disabled young people missing out, but I have also seen some fully engaged in sport and active recreation. Through hearing from these Young People with Physical Impairments (YPwI) who are active and engaged, I want to find out how more opportunities can be provided to get more disabled young people involved in sport and active recreation.

Put simply, the purpose of her research is to identify what positive factors influence YPwI’s participation in sport and active recreation in New Zealand. What gets them involved and what keeps them involved.


A bit about Catriona

Catriona McBean and is a PhD candidate at the University of Waikato and also works for dsport.  

She has worked and volunteered in sport and active recreation for over 35 years. Herroles in sport include leading Swimming NZ, Sport & Exercise Science NZ, and Orienteering NZ. In active recreation she has worked for Water Safety NZ and held volunteer roles in outdoor multisport events.

Over the last decade Catriona has been actively involved in disability sport, including being a Paralympics New Zealand board member and a volunteer for the International Paralympic Committee in Oceania. In 2018 she was a volunteer at the Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang and is hoping to be at the Tokyo games in 2021.


Why is this research needed?

While there is lots of research about inclusion in schools there is little that identifies the factors that contribute to the successful engagement of those YPwI who do participate in clubs and teams.  

One of the objectives of this research is to provide some practical outcomes for those wanting to become involved in disability sport provision. By identifying these arrangements and practices, illustrative case studies of what enables successful engagement can be articulated to sports organisations, as well as assisting in the development of future Government initiatives. Perhaps it will help support a move from ‘disability sport’, to a true sport for all system.

Ultimately, it is hoped the number of YPwI engaged in sport and active recreation in the future will increase, their participation rates improve, and that their experiences are positive and rewarding.


Research scope

The scope of this study means Catriona only have the capacity to meet with 4 or 5 Young YPwI to hear directly from them about their experiences in sport and active recreation.

To ensure she gets a range of perspectives and experiences, Catriona has created a nomination questionnaire. The questionnaire is in 2 sections. The first about the YPwI. The second about their family/whānau. 

The aim is to include disabled young people who are of different ages and gender, have different impairments, come from different areas and participate in different sports and active recreation.

Catriona also wants to hear from family/whānau and coaches/group leaders. If the YPwI you nominate is selected, you will also be able to help with this research.


How can you help?

There’s a number of ways you can help. If you are a:

  • sporting/disability organisation, please forward this to your members/regions/clubs/teams/coaches and promote through your social media (pdf and jpeg files attached)
  • family/whānau of a YPwI, talk to the YPwI in your household about this research. If they are interested in being part of this research or if you think they will be, please Nominate here
  • coach/group leader who has a YPwI in our club/team/group, feel free to forward this information to family/whānau of the YPwI.
  • friend or know a family with a YPwI who may be interested, please forward this information to family/whānau of the YPwI.


Nominations close Saturday 31 October

To find out  more about my research