SDS is the Scottish governing and co-coordinating body of all sports for children, athletes and players of all ages and abilities with a physical, sensory or learning disability. SDS has the vision of developing opportunities and improving performance in disability sport for children, athletes and players with a physical, sensory or learning disability in Scotland and contributing to UK and international initiatives. SDS has published a national strategy which will direct the work of the Association through to 2017 and beyond. SDS lists its major partners as sportscotland, Scotland’s Governing Bodies of Sport and Local Authorities plus voluntary organisations concerned with disability.
SDS has 13 Branches covering most of Scotland, reaching from the Highland area in the north to the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway in the south. SDS has a dedicated staff team and Regional Managers and is enormously proud of the quality and quantity of volunteers and athlete members who play a major part in the running of the Association.
SDS members have featured prominently in GB teams that have been hugely successful in past Summer Paralympic Games. Scottish wheelchair curlers also made a major impact for Great Britain in the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi 2014 with a bronze medal.
Individual Scottish athletes and teams have over many years enjoyed considerable success and profile in international disability sport. Scottish athletes and support staff have gained the respect of their international sporting colleagues in a range of sports. Scottish members of the GB Boccia team have been consistently successful at international level and Scottish players with cerebral palsy have established themselves as a world force in 7 a side football. With the Scottish FA as lead, the European Championships were held in Glasgow in 2010. In wheelchair tennis, cycling, swimming and bowls Scots athletes and players command respect in international competitions.
SDS annually organises national events in bowls, athletics, football, swimming, boccia, wheelchair curling, cross country, etc. and the Branches of the Association organise parallel qualifying events. There is an annual programme of sport specific squad training, festivals and education and training opportunities for leaders and coaches. These programmes are geared towards developing new and existing sports and helping athlete members to realise their full potential in sport. SDS has a particular commitment to children and young people and in ensuring that best practice in equality is obvious at all times.
SDS is constantly attempting to widen the range of available sports options for individuals of all levels of ability with a disability in Scotland. SDS has the responsibility of creating appropriate sport specific pathways for individual sports people. Paralympic Games or Commonwealth Games representation is the goal of Scotland’s performance athletes and players and SDS is there to offer support and advice when required.