Disability sport research as advocacy work

The Schools of Kinesiology (UBC Vancouver) and Health and Exercise Sciences (UBCO) are co-hosting a weekly webinar series featuring current faculty research topics. The series runs May through June. All are invited to attend these free academic presentations on Friday afternoons from 3:00pm-4:30pm PST.

Andrea Bundon, UBC Vancouver
Assistant Professor
School of Kinesiology

Title: Disability sport research as advocacy work

Description: There is an abundance of compelling scientific evidence that sport and physical activity can lead to a wealth of health and social benefits for people with disabilities. Being physically active can reduce the risk of secondary impairments and complications by enhancing cardiovascular function, musculoskeletal function, mobility, emotional well-being and quality of life and by lessening the impacts of depression, pain and fatigue. Yet despite decades of research, countless policies on inclusion, and millions of dollars spent on ‘creating opportunities’, few people with disabilities regularly participate in sport. I contend that the current situation is the result of a sport culture that is generally unprepared to engage with the politics of disability.

In this talk, I will present findings from three research projects – one on the role of wheelchair basketball in developing para-sport internationally, one on how ‘inclusion’ has been delivered within the British Columbia sport sector, and one exploring the precarious position of women in the Paralympic Games. I will use this research to illustrate how initiatives intended to promote sport opportunities for people with disabilities can still end up reproducing inequity and I will discuss examples of ‘promising practices’ that have the potential to lead to real change. My intent in sharing this work is to demonstrate that researchers need not be unbiased. Rather by working from a Critical Disabilities Studies paradigm, my research becomes my way of advocating for more equitable and inclusive sport.

Friday, June 12, 2020
3:00pm – 4:30pm
All Welcome – Free admission
Zoom link