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Sport and Disability


Simon is a twenty-three-year-old sufferer from epilepsy. Over the years he has progressively lost brain function as a result of repeated seizures. He completed his secondary education; however, he doesn't have sufficient concentration to hold down a proper job and is bored and humiliated by the 'sheltered workshop' jobs he has had.

He has also been forced to withdraw from many recreational activities. Almost his only remaining pastime was his membership of the 'fourths' team in a local cricket competition. He turned up to every training session, ran errands for the team and did the jobs no-one else wanted to do. The club accepted him to a certain extent, but he was always on the outer socially, and at training no-one ever liked to bowl at full strength against him lest he be struck by the ball. He was never picked to play in a competition game.

Simon became distraught and hurt by the rejection, and his parents were bitter in their resentment of the club's attitude. They felt the club was so interested in winning at all costs that they would not include their son. They felt the club was betraying the very principles community sport is based on: participation, enjoyment and acceptance. They further thought that the possibility of physical injury to Simon was not as significant as the continuing wounds to his self-esteem that resulted from his non-inclusion.

Club members were embarrassed by Simon and his odd manner and they justified not selecting him on the grounds that he might be injured.

Were they right?

The following scenario allows you to explore the viewpoints of a range of different people.

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