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University of Worcester's Inclusive Ethos Gets Global Acclaim

One of the world’s most successful universities in producing Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists has been working with the University of Worcester to learn more about its inclusive ethos.

Beijing Sports University recently hosted the first International Inclusive Sport Education Symposium, delivered in partnership with Worcester, which has become a world leader in the field of inclusive sport and educational development.

The main focus was upon developing inclusive practice when teaching children with impairments.

Mick Donovan, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor & Head of the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science at Worcester, said: “We have been working with Beijing Sports University for eight years, and whilst they are probably one of the most successful sports universities in the world, in terms of producing gold medallists for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, they also share our belief that everyone has the right to take part in sport.

“At the University of Worcester, we have a very strong ethos of inclusion in all that we do and currently have over 300 students who engage in disability sport courses or modules within their degrees. We decided that we could make a global impact in terms of educating sports teachers and coaches to be more inclusive in their practice and the symposium was certainly a very significant first step.”

At the event, the University of Worcester also launched its new book, The Worcester Way, aimed at sharing good practice and principles for inclusive practice with PE teachers, students and coaches from around the world.

The Symposium was supported by the Chinese government, and saw staff from Worcester deliver practical workshops to over 100 students, teachers and coaches from China. They also delivered formal presentations to experts from universities in China, the US and Eastern Europe.

There were also presentations from experts from the universities of Virginia and Lithuanian Sports University and additional workshops delivered by the universities of Delaware and Southern Mississippi, USA.

The Symposium builds on a busy two years for Worcester in this field, which has included keynote lectures at the International Paralympic Committee summit, hosted by the World Academy of Sport at the Rio Paralympics, and several meetings and symposiums in Tokyo, with the intention of supporting Japan in creating a meaningful legacy from the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020.

Audiences in Tokyo have included the Japan Paralympic committee, the Japan Sports Council, the Nippon Foundation, a wide range of Tokyo universities and representatives from the marketing and media industry.

Worcester has also welcomed visitors from all over the world to learn more about its inclusive approach and about the award winning University of Worcester Arena, the UK’s only purpose built sports facility for the wheelchair athlete.