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Inclusion of persons with disability in sport: part 1 – rights and challenges in Qatar

journal contribution
submitted on 2024-04-01, 07:53 and posted on 2024-04-01, 07:53 authored by Sanaa Taha Al-Harahsheh, Kamilla Swart, Josélia Neves, Sabika Shaban

Sport is considered a powerful tool to foster social inclusion and improve the well-being of persons with disabilities (PWDs). While it can place people on equitable social footing,1 PWDs remain under-represented in sport and physical activities compared with their peers without disabilities.

The participation of PWDs in sport is influenced by the type and severity of disability. Those with learning disabilities or with profound and multiple disabilities have the lowest participation levels.1 Globally, disability rates are rising dramatically, presently estimated at over 1 billion people—including 190 million people (3.8%) who experience significant difficulties in functioning.2 In Qatar, census data estimates 1.2% of the population have a disability, with 232 athletes registered at the Qatar Paralympic Committee (QPC).3 However, it is important to note that defining and operationalising disability remains a challenge despite significant progress in measurement. Qatar has around 1.3 million employees, mostly young, healthy men, and uses a narrow definition of disability when estimating the number of PWDs. Therefore, the Washington Group Questions should be adopted in the future to measure PWDs more accurately.4

Over the past few decades, the State of Qatar has achieved tangible progress in catering to the needs of PWDs. For example, various projects, initiative and programmes that accommodate to the needs of PWDs, while protecting their basic human rights were developed. Furthermore, the QPC is not only committed to enabling para-athletes to achieve sporting excellence but also to developing sport opportunities for all PWDs in Qatar (beginner to elite).5 This editorial reflects on how sport and physical activities affect PWDs in Qatar and the obstacles to their participation.

Other Information

Published in: British Journal of Sports Medicine
See article on publisher's website:



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • World Innovation Summit for Health
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Science and Engineering - HBKU
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences - HBKU
  • College of Islamic Studies - HBKU

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