Fine Gael Clare Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Disability, Martin Conway, has said that the lives of people with disabilities can be transformed through participation in PE, sport, fitness and recreation. Senator Conway was speaking today (Tuesday) ahead of the official launch of the UNESCO Chair at IT Tralee by President Michael D. Higgins.
“Ireland is now an international world leader in the area of Adapted Physical Activity (APA) and IT Tralee has become the first third level institution in the world to receive a UNESCO Chair in inclusive physical education. This means the programme, developed by Tralee Institute of Technology, Tralee, has been adopted by UNESCO as a global industry standard.
“The Chair will work to develop infrastructures that will help people with disabilities to engage with PE, sport and active recreation. It is already working at the moment at building a centre of excellence of inclusive design.
“The prestigious programme seeks to advance research, training and programme development in higher education by building networks and encouraging co-operation through transfer of knowledge across borders. Influencing legislation policy and practice will also be core objectives of the role for IT Tralee.
“People with disabilities in Ireland are seven times more likely to experience restrictions in accessing physical activity and sport than non-disabled people, and are four times more likely to be inactive than people without disabilities. For that reason the activities of IT Tralee in ensuring access for all those with a disability, irrespective of age, in sport and physical exercise is of the utmost importance and I am delighted the President will officiate at the launch.
“I congratulate IT Tralee on achieving this prestigious accolade and I look forward to working with them in the future.”