A girl with down syndrome and a volunteer taking part in a sport class

Breaking Barriers: Supporting disabled teenage girls to be active


Disabled teenage girls’ enjoyment of and positive attitudes towards sport continue to be lower than their non-disabled counterparts, but, in contrast, we know that 67% of those that responded to our survey want to be more active.

This research highlights that inactivity is contributing to disabled teenage girls experiencing worrying mental health issues, including being less happy and more anxious.

Led by Access Sport, the Sweaty Betty Foundation, Women in Sport and Nuffield Health, the Breaking Barriers project identifies the barriers that prevent disabled teenage girls from taking part in sport and exercise.

Read the report

  • 67 %

    of disabled teenage girls want to be more active

  • 54 %

    want to take part with other disabled girls


We recommend that sport and exercise providers use these findings:

  1. To build their understanding of disabled teenage girls needs and their attitudes towards sport and exercise.
  2. To provide more inclusive offers for a disabled teenage girl audience, that prioritise fun and are judgement-free.
  3. To better educate coaches in disability-inclusive sport and exercise. This will ensure disabled teenage girls can take part and feel included.

Read the report

I love cycling with mum and dad. I like that you can be free.

In partnership with

Access Sport
Sweaty Betty Foundation
Nuffield Health