NDIS Sports Guide

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way to support people with a permanent and significant disability. The NDIS was fully rolled out across Western Australia in 2020.


Have you been approved for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?


Are you waiting for your planning meeting or reviewing your NDIS plan?


Would you like to include sport or recreational activities in your plan?


The following steps will guide you through the things you need to think about when preparing for your planning meeting.


1. Find a sport or recreational activity



Do you already take part in sport or recreational activities? Are there any that you’d like to take part in?

Follow the Rebound WA Facebook Group, or contact us to find a sport or recreational activity which may be suitable for you.

Become a member of Rebound WA (it’s FREE!) to get the latest news about inclusive sport in Western Australia.


2. Do your research



Do you need help or supports to take part in this sport or recreational activity?

Think about the things you might need, including:

  • equipment
  • transport
  • accessibility and support.

Use this template to write down your needs (accessible PDF)


a. equipment




The NDIS calls this equipment ‘assistive equipment for recreation’ or ‘assistive technology’.

Things to think about:

 What aids and equipment will you need to take part in this sport or recreational activity?

  • For example, a sports wheelchair or a prosthesis.​
  • Will an occupational therapist or physiotherapist need to fit your aids or equipment?
  • You may be able to hire sports equipment from Rebound WA.


If funding is required for a piece of sporting equipment, a specific goal relating to that piece of equipment is required.


b. transport



How will you get to and from your sport or recreational activity?
For example:

  • public transport
  • family
  • carers


Transport for young adults may be funded by the NDIS.

Read about the types of transport funding you can get from the NDIS.


c. accessibility and support needs



Will you need support while taking part in your sport or recreational activity?
For example:

  • Will you need help to use the bathroom?
  • Will you need help to take medication?
  • Will you need help getting about?
  • Will you need a support worker to come with you?​


NDIS will fund support workers to attend the sporting or recreational activity, if their presence is required.


3. Make sport and recreation part of your life



Where will your sport or recreational activity fit into your life?


Use this template to make a list of the activities you usually do each day of the week (accessible PDF)


Now add in the sport or recreational activities you want to take part in.


The more detailed your weekly description is, the more likely you are to get these activities funded.

N.B NDIS don’t usually fund an activity (especially long term) but may fund a support worker or equipment


4. Setting goals



The sport and recreational activities you’ve chosen will only be included in your NDIS plan if they are part of your goals.

Sport and recreation fits into these three NDIS funding categories:

  • Social and community participation
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Relationships


Here is an example of linking your sport or recreational activity to an NDIS funding category goal:

Activity: I want to play wheelchair rugby

Goal: To make new friends (social participation) and take part in my community (community participation).


Use this template to write down your sport or recreation goals (accessible PDF) 


5. Putting together your information



The more information you can take to your planning meeting, the better. Supporting evidence from Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and/ or medical reports are important.


Use this checklist to help you get all the information you need to take to your planning meeting (accessible PDF)


6. Things to remember



a. ask for help

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking up for yourself, take someone to your planning meeting that can support you. Someone who can speak up for you is called an advocate. There are advocacy organisations that you can contact for help.


b. what if I’m not happy with my NDIS plan? 

If you’re not happy with your plan, or a decision that is made, you can ask to have your plan reviewed. You can ask the National Disability Insurance Agency to explain the decisions they make about your plan.


c. sport is more than just fun



There is a lot of evidence for why sport and recreational activities are good for people with disability. People with a disability receive the same physical, mental, and social benefits from participating in sport and physical activity as those not having a disability.


Sport and recreational activities can benefit our members rehabilitation process – both physically and mentally. By encouraging them to explore possibility, we help them understand their own potential.


What we do is heavily influenced by the philosophy of Sir George Bedbrook and John (Johnno) Johnson who both pioneered a new approach in the 1950s in the rehabilitation of people with spinal injuries. They believed, and then proved, involvement in competitive and team sport improved both physical and mental well-being leading to healthier lives. In our line of work, we have found this to be true of all physical disability.


People with disability are less likely to take part in regular physical activity than people without disability, yet they have similar needs when it comes to improving their health and preventing unnecessary disease. 1


Regular physical activity has been linked to these benefits:


  • Prevents many health conditions including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity, Type II diabetes and colon cancer. 1, 2
  • Helps individuals with chronic, disabling conditions to improve their muscle strength and stamina. 1
  • Helps to control joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis. 1
  • Helps with weight management, to avoid surgical intervention and maintain joint range of motion. 4


  • Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and improves mood. 1
  • Increases sense of well-being by changing how people think and feel about themselves. 6
  • Promotes inclusion by changing how communities think and feel about people with disability. 6
  • Increases self-esteem, life satisfaction, confidence and perceived competence and self-identity. 5
  • Improves personal relationships with family and friends, which reduces isolation, builds social skills and well-being. 5

These positive effects aren’t limited to an individual person with disability – often, these benefits are enjoyed by families and communities by reducing isolation and increasing parental involvement. 2


1 Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. (1999). Persons with Disabilities. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/sgr/disab.htm

Harada, C.M., Siperstein, G.N., Parker, R.C. and Lenox, D. (2011) Promoting social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities through sport: Special Olympics International, global sport initiatives and strategies.Sport in Society , 14(9): 1131–49

Johnson, C. (2009) The benefits of physical activity for youth with developmental disabilities: a systematic review.  American Journal of Health Promotion, 23(3): 157–67.

4 Murphy, N. A., & Carbone, P. S. (2008). Promoting the Participation of Children With Disabilities in Sports, Recreation, and Physical Activities. Pediatrics. 121(5). Doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-0566.

5 Papathomas, A., Smith, B., Richardson, E.V., & Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2017). The psychosocial impact of wheelchair tennis on participants from developing countries. Disability and Rehabiliation, 39(2), 193-200. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1073372

Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group. (2008).  Harnessing the Power of Sport for Development and Peace: Recommendations to Governments. Retrieved from


Was this guide helpful?


We’d love your feedback on this guide and how you go including sport and recreation in your NDIS plan. Email us: admin@reboundwa.com


This guide was developed by Disability Sport & Recreation in partnership with Mark Topic, Sophie Lynch and Monash University and adapted by Rebound WA and Melville/ Fremantle Peer to Peer Network.

Did you know we host a range of activities for adults and children with disabilities to get active?

Read more