LTAD Developmental Stages - Sitting

Awareness and First Contact / Recruitment Awareness and First Contact / Recruitment

Development of AWADs (Athletes with a Disability) requires two new stages in addition to the stages in the able-bodied LTAD model (Canadian Sport for Life, pages 36-44). These stages are called Awareness and First Contact/Recruitment and are particularly important for individuals with an acquired disability who, prior to injury or illness, may have had no contact with, and no knowledge of, sport for AWADs.

The purpose of the Awareness and First Contact/Recruitment stages is, therefore, to inform individuals of the range of activities in which they can participate and to provide ways for them to experience those activities. A positive first experience can go a long way to engaging persons with a disability in both competitive and recreational sporting activities.

Since people become disabled at any age, no ages have been assigned to these additional stages.  The lifelong importance of an Active Start for kids with a congenital disability cannot be over-emphasized.


Sport opportunities for people with a disability are not always well known and someone who acquires a disability may have no knowledge of what sports are available. Volleyball Canada partners with various organizations across Canada in the delivery of Awareness programs.


Sports only have one opportunity to create a positive environment for prospective AWADs. It may not be easy for them to make the first approach to a sport, and research shows that if they don’t have a positive first experience, they may be lost to the sport and to a healthy lifestyle.

It is important to note that since sitting volleyball is so new to Canada, the Awareness and First Contact/Recruitment stages are important not only for reaching out to AWADs, but to the entire community at-large.  The sport has potential for enormous growth with the participation of able-bodied (AB) athletes.

Written with excerpts from ‘No Accidental Champions’ – a Canadian Sport for Life resource paper.

AWAD / AB Integration

  • Is critical
  • Fully integrated
  • Fundamental movement skills taught in an adapted way at volleyball clinics
  • Basic volleyball skill lessons taught in an adapted way at volleyball clinics