European Network of Outdoor Sports Inclusion Award 2021

Following the sessions on inclusive outdoors at the 2019 Outdoor Sports Euro’ meet hosted by the European Network of Outdoor Sports (ENOS) a working group of delegates met to come up series of recommendations that could help to promote greater participation in the outdoors by under-represented groups including those with disabilities.

One of the ideas was to promote innovation and development through the creation of an award in partnership with the European Outdoor Group (EOG)and the Its Great Out There Coalition (IGOT) for the brand that makes the best piece of accessible equipment that is useful for all.

There are a number of principles that must be applied:
1.    The equipment should be relatively simple and not complicated to use.
2.    It should be something that could be useful for people with disabilities but also for anyone.
3.    It should be no more expensive than other similar outdoor equipment.
4.    It should reduce the limitations of an impairment through engineering, ingenuity or design innovation.
5.    A prototype design must be available for review testing by 10th September 2021 prior to the ISPO event.
6.    ENOS/EOG will look at a number of categories for the equipment:
Apparel | Water sport equipment | Climbing equipment | Snow sport equipment |  Mountain biking / trail usage equipment

ENOS, EOG and IGOT are all member based not for profit organisations and strongly support collaborative and networking opportunities. In fact the development and management of outdoor sports relies on collaboration between land and water managers, outdoor sports organisations, local authorities and the participants themselves.

Therefore, we are strongly recommending that a “co-design”approach is used. Collaboration between brands and with grass roots disabled sports organisations, universities or other research agencies will be encouraged and will bring increased benefits.

Applications to register an interest in this award should be submitted to by 1st September 2021.

The expression of interest should highlight the category and a short proposal on the equipment to be developed.

We would then hope to showcase the designs at OutDoor by ISPO in October, where the award would be presented.

Background information for the Inclusion Design Award

To help brands think about how to develop innovative and inclusive equipment Professor Jane McCann has provided some background information that can help.


The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design (HHCD), at the Royal College of Art, that leads the way in including the needs and aspirations of diverse people in the design of products, services and technological innovations, believes that:

“The value proposition for business is strong –human-centred solutions, enhanced brand and commercial presence, profitability, and industry-leading innovation opportunities among others.”

The inclusive / universal design of any product involves the consideration of many factors including aesthetics, engineering options, environmental issues, safety concerns, industry standards, and cost.

The competition for EOG partners is to initiate inclusive design solutions to meet identified needs. In an industry that grew from sports practitioners initially amending their ‘gear’, that was not fit-for-purpose, pioneers (such as Rab Carrington, Helly Hansen and Yvon Chouinard - and others) subsequently established their own brands, that are still respected today. This user-centred design approach may be applied to a wider and inclusive audience.  

"The design brief promotes the concept of Co-Design: Co-design quite literally means ‘collaborative design’. It is a methodology for actively engaging people into the design of improvements, innovations and impacts -drawing together their collective experiences to build services and outcomes that are as good as they can possibly be"
"Co-design is not focussed only on including the voices of end users - but on building mutual understanding across the service system. In order to change complex and entrenched social issues we need to incorporate the skills, knowledge and experiences of ALL people involved"


That may provide insights that can inform, enrich and humanise ‘hard data’ and evidence. Co-design, as a well-established approach to creative practice, may be introduced at any stage during the iterative design cycle from the initial framing of the design challenge through to evaluating the outcome. When working with a group of end-users, one strategy is to commence with a ‘show and tell’ focused on products that a target user-group habitually wears/ uses, for a given activity/ range of activities.

“Co-design begins with questions, not solutions; curiosity not certainty”


The Cambridge Engineering DesignCentre (EDC), that has collaborated with the HHCD over time, has produced a range of design tools that highlight four key design questions, to help designers put Inclusive Design into practice as shown below.




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