Once when I went down to the local gym I saw a disabled man in a wheelchair going into reception. He went up to the reception desk however he was unable to reach the desk to talk to the woman. He asked her nicely if she could come round from the front of the desk to talk to him however she immediately dismissed him and said that the gym did not cater for disabled people. After further inspection it was found that there was no disabled access into the gym or the changing rooms. It was not possible for any wheelchair users to use the gym. The man asked whether there would be any future work to make the gym accessible for wheelchair users however she had no information and was very unhelpful.
As Assistant Sports Development Officer I feel strongly that everyone deserves equal opportunities whether disabled or not. If I was to witness the event above I would be shocked at both the facilities provided by this Company and the attitude from the staff employed. The woman at the desk clearly had no respect for the man in the wheelchair and her attitude is going to lose her company customers. If it was down to me I would get the woman to go on a course that made her see how people in a wheelchair felt in normal everyday life. By making her try to access facilities such as there gym whilst in a wheelchair she would be able to see the complexity and frustration involved with being disabled. Maybe this would change her views on the way disabled people are treated. Due to the Disability Discrimination Act 2004 clubs need to have the facilities for disabled people. This includes ramps, lifts, toilets, parking etc. This gym would need to be looked into and suspended until the correct facilities are installed to meet the needs of wheelchair users.
I think that it would be a good idea to have a wheelchair user to go around the facilities and possibly point out the areas that would especially need disabled access. This would work well as no one would know where to put facilities better than a wheelchair user themselves. There should also be different types of activities and deliveries of sessions to accompany the needs of disabled people. Not only will this improve the reputation of the club but in turn will boost population and result in an increase of money to the club. The woman could also be taken on a course to help her communication with her customers. People will not be returning to the club if they are being spoken to in a rude manner and this woman is not helping the clubs success.
Two years ago I was in the Essex Cup Final match for my school. We were the favourites to win and a large reason for this was our striker. He was a very good player and had helped us proceed through the rounds. The other team knew this and thought it would be a good tactic to try and take him out of the game. After 20 minutes a player from the other team make a violent challenge on our striker causing him to injure his leg. He had to be taken off the pitch and could not play the rest of the game; in result of this we lost the final 2-1. This was clearly not fair play on the other teams part and it should have made the victory less sweet.
This is clearly unethical as it promotes unfair play and gamesmanship. The coach needs to be taught that if a team is going to win a match it needs to be fairly otherwise it counts for nothing. He needs to be taught that this is wrong but also why this is wrong. Teaching such a young age group he is setting bad ethics and values for future generations. If I was a coach for this team I would be teaching my players that they need to win a game fairly and not use ‘dirty tactics’ and play with gamesmanship. I would train my players well to be as good as this other player and I would teach them fair tactics that would work against the other team. Having one good player cannot make a team strong, they need a whole squad of good players and by creating this within my own team it would overpower the opposition. Before the match I would say remind my team about fair play and discipline. I would encourage them that they are good enough to win by playing their own game.
I am against this manager’s view as it is clearly unethical. It takes the winning at all costs attitude which we need to get rid of in sport. Vince Lombardi once said ‘Winning is not the most important thing, it is the only thing’ I do not agree with this statement and I would prefer to take an attitude such as sport England. They state that ‘Sport England recognises that inequalities in sport exist. We are working to change the culture and structure of sport to ensure that it becomes equally accessible to all’ This is a positive step forward towards fairness in sport and proves that my point is valid.