Racism and discrimination in sports has many faces. Think of discriminatory insults on the sports field and racist chants from the stands or someone who is refused membership because of his origin. Lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) still regularly encounter a lack of acceptance on the sports field or in the gym, for example. It would be naive to think that racism and discrimination does not exist in sport. After all, sport is a reflection of society. ver the years we have seen many examples where racism and sport meet. Racism can be a barrier to participation in sports . This can be because people have experienced discrimination in other aspects of their lives, including at school, at work or in the general public and expect that it might also occur within a sporting context. But apart from the fact that both are linked to sport, there is also another side: sport is also seen as a means against social abuses such as discrimination and exclusion.
THE KEY TO ANTI-RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION
October is Disability and Down syndrome Awareness Month. It’s not about celebrating disabilities, it’s about celebrating abilities. We can all learn from each other! The aim of spreading awareness is simple; education. People who don’t have a disability or know anyone who is disabled might not be aware of what it is like to live with a disability or the challenges that can be encountered on a daily basis. By educating people on these challenges it is hoped that positive changes are made.
There are many misconceptions surrounding disabilities. For example, some assume that all disabilities are visible, but that couldn’t be more incorrect. When someone has a disability, it means that a person has a mental or physical impairment that can restrict the ability to participate in everyday activities. Never make assumptions based on those internalized stereotypes or misconceptions. Through disability awareness, the misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding those with disabilities can be brought to the forefront. When these are gone, attitudes and behaviors become more positive and impactful.
Sport can help reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with disability because it can transforms community attitudes about persons with disabilities by highlighting their skills and reducing the tendency to see the disability instead of the person. Through sport, persons without disabilities interact with persons with disabilities in a positive context forcing them to reshape assumptions about what persons with disabilities can and cannot do.
Sport changes the person with disability in an equally profound way by empowering persons with disabilities to realize their full potential and advocate for changes in society. Through sport, persons with disabilities acquire vital social skills, develop independence, and become empowered to act as agents of change. Sport teaches individuals how to communicate effectively as well as the significance of teamwork and cooperation and respect for others. Sport is also well-suited to reducing dependence and developing greater independence by helping persons with disabilities to become physically and mentally stronger.
5 FACTS ABOUT DISABILITIES
A mental illness is a physical illness of the brain that causes disturbances in thinking, behavior, energy or emotion that make it difficult to cope with the ordinary demands of life. Research is starting to uncover the complicated causes of these diseases which can include genetics, brain chemistry, brain structure, experiencing trauma and/or having another medical condition, like heart disease.
Mental illnesses affect 19% of the adult population, 46% of teenagers and 13% of children each year. However, only half of those affected receive treatment, often because of the stigma attached to mental health. Untreated, mental illness can contribute to higher medical expenses, poorer performance at school and work, fewer employment opportunities and increased risk of suicide.
Although the general perception of mental illness has improved over the past decades, studies show that stigma against mental illness is still powerful, largely due to media stereotypes and lack of education. Stigma affects not only the number seeking treatment, but also the number of resources available for proper treatment. Stigma and misinformation can feel like overwhelming obstacles for someone who is struggling with a mental health condition. Here a few powerful things you can do to help:
HOW CAN SPORT HELP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
We all know that sports are great for your physical health. But sports also have many psychological benefits.