Safe and inclusive sport: A parasport perspective


'Safe Sport' is a growing movement but has yet to meaningfully include equity-deserving groups. Creating space for equity-denied groups to safely share their experiences will allow for a deeper understanding of maltreatment in sport and for more effective and inclusive strategies to be created. Athletes from equity-denied groups have reported verbal and behavioural microaggressions and systemic barriers that exclude them from the 'Safe Sport' movement (Gurgis et al., 2022). Recognizing all forms of maltreatment – including racism, ableism, sexism, misogyny and heterosexism – is imperative to combat the inequities and exclusions that currently constrain understandings and reporting of maltreatment in sport (MacGregor, 2021; Gurgis et al., 2022), 20 members of the parasport community were interviewed and asked to share their vision of creating a safe, inclusive, and accessible sport environment, including perceived barriers and facilitators to advancing an ideal sport environment. Results suggest that safety and inclusion in parasport can be improved by addressing the following three areas: the values of the sport system; education, and; representation. The experiences and perspectives of sport members are imperative to understanding the structures and culture that foster experiences of maltreatment. Understanding the nature of sport members' experiences and giving power to their feedback can inform the design, development, and implementation of safe, supportive, and trauma-informed sport systems.