Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) supports people with physical disabilities to live active, equal and independent lives. Irish Wheelchair Association Sport (IWA-Sport) is a leading National Governing Body (NGB) in Ireland for people with a physical disability promoting physical activity

In November 2021 IWA-Sport commenced a strategic planning process to help shape our Women in Sport initiative. This strategy has been developed in line with the key pillars outlined in the current Sport Ireland Women in Sport Policy.

The policy expresses Sport Ireland’s commitment to women in sport and builds on the significant work which has already been undertaken in this area within the sport sector to date. 

To that end, the pillars of Active Participation, Visibility, Leadership and Governance, Coaching and Officiating have helped us to shape our strategy, but it is specifically tailored to address the needs of our female members with a physical disability throughout Ireland.

The Strategy is informed by the actions set out in various National Policies including the National Sports Policy 2018-2027, the Sport Action Plan 2021-2023, and the Sport Ireland WIS & Disability Sport Policies.

IWA Women in Sport Mission To develop and promote sport, physical recreational and leadership opportunities for females with a physical disability to reach their full potential

IWA Women in Sport Vision We aim to be acknowledged as at the forefront of Irish sporting bodies for inclusion and promotion of females with a disability in all areas of sport and physical activity

One of IWA values is Equality: Aligned with the UN on the rights of persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) IWA believes in a fair and inclusive society. We work actively to ensure that every person with a physical disability in Ireland can achieve their right to an independent life, with equal access to opportunities, services and support within their communities. Hence our focus on female participation in this strategy

13.5% of the population have a disability and 51.6% of those are females. Ref CSO 2016. In this strategy we aim to bridge the gap with our male counterparts by delivering sustainable participation programmes, building volunteer capacity through coach education and training programmes, raising the profile of female participants and delivering a number of leadership initiatives

We are Ireland’s first NGB to focus on Women in Sport with a physical disability and to that end we undertook an extensive consultation process with females with disabilities, coaches, athletes, media, Sport Ireland and various other sector representatives.

We also consulted with other European and international sporting bodies. All of staff male and female were involved in the process.

Women in Sport Strategy 2022 – 2025