The Mixed Ability Sport (MAS) model is yet to be applied to a University setting but could prove an effective way to increase sports participation in underrepresented groups, as well as to achieve greater social inclusion and community building. The Living Lab is therefore collaborating with the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) and the Sport & Physical Activity Service (SPA) to carry out a pilot project to evaluate whether there is a need for a MAS offering at the University of Leeds.

MAS has been developed, and is being championed, by IMAS (International Mixed Ability Sports) who are a Bradford-based community interest company. IMAS initially focused on promoting the integration of disabled players into mainstream sports settings. However, it became clear that many barriers are faced by different people in participating in sport and the MAS model appears to offer a ‘safe’ environment to overcome some of these. IMAS have therefore moved beyond disability to focus on trying to break down barriers to anyone wishing to participate in sport and physical activity.

This Living Lab project aims to:

  • Deliver two half-day workshops and two half-day MAS taster days (facilitated by IMAS)
  • Identify a MAS Student Ambassador to promote the Model (with IMAS support) within the University
  • Monitor and evaluate the impacts of the MAS Model through interdisciplinary research
  • Organise a knowledge exchange workshop with other Universities to share findings and good practice
  • Develop an outline plan and evaluation methodology for the roll-out and promotion of MAS at the University of Leeds

Get involved

The Sustainability Research Institute are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated student with an interest in social inclusion, sport and education to contribute to the Mixed Ability Sports Living Lab project. For more on this is exciting opportunity to be part of an innovative social inclusion initiative, and to find out how to apply, please follow this link to the job description Living Lab MAS Ambassador JD or contact Dr Jen Dyer