OBJECTIVES: To investigate sports participation among individuals in the HandbikeBattle project 1.5-5.5 years after the event, the barriers and facilitators to sport participation and benefits of participating in the event.
SETTING: Former participants of the HandbikeBattle, a handcycling race on an Austrian mountain.
METHODS: Handcyclists who took part in one or more HandbikeBattle events in 2013-2017 were invited to complete a survey in December 2018. Questions were asked on benefits of participating in this event, current sport participation, and experienced barriers and facilitators regarding current sport participation.
RESULTS: Respondents (N = 96 (N = 59 with spinal cord injury (SCI) or Spina Bifida (SB)), response rate = 47%) reported benefits from this event regarding their fitness level (90%), personal development (81%), daily life activities (66%), and health (64%). Median current sport participation was 5 h/week (IQR: 3-8). Most frequently indicated personal barriers for sports participation were: lack of time (31%), disability (17%), and pain (15%). Most frequently mentioned environmental barriers were: transportation time to sport accommodation (19%), and lack of peers to do sports with (16%). Most important facilitators were motivation to improve health and/or fitness (92%), fun and/or relaxation (85%). The results for the subgroup with SCI were comparable with the results of the total group.
CONCLUSIONS: Results highlight the role sports challenges can have in establishing a sustainable active life lifestyle among people with disabilities.