Playing sport is a great way to stay fit, healthy and socially active by being part of a fun sporting club community.

If you love playing sport and you feel it relates to the goals in your NDIS plan, the NDIS can provide funding so long as the supports you receive are considered to be reasonable and necessary.

NDIS funding for sport: how it works

We all know that regular exercise (including sport) has many health benefits, including improved cholesterol, lower blood pressure, stronger bones and muscles and reduced risk of heart problems. It can also boost mental health, reduce stress and build your social network through a fun and supportive community.

The NDIS recognises these holistic benefits and can provide funding for either your sporting activities themselves or part of your sporting equipment. Just keep in mind, funding can only be provided for supports that are considered to be reasonable and necessary and relative to the goals in your NDIS plan.

Sporting activities

There are two NDIS support categories for sport: 

  1. Increased Social & Community Participation (Category 9) - a Capacity Building support designed to help you build your skills and independence. Supports in this category include fitness classes, coaching and other recreational activities that help you build your capacity in accessing the community. These activities are often one-on-one or small group classes. 
  2. Assistance with Social & Community Participation (Category 4) - a Core support that's more flexible, funding a wider range of activities. This category includes supports that help you participate in sport, (such as a support person). Activities funded under Assistance with Social & Community Participation don’t need to be disability specific - this category is about helping you participate in activities, meeting new people and having fun! 

Sporting equipment

The NDIS can also fund specialised sporting equipment that's relative to your disability. This comes under one of two categories:

  1. Consumables: For sporting equipment you can buy “off the shelf” but have to pay more because of the adaptations needed to meet your needs. You cover the cost of the basic product and the NDIS funds the difference. While the NDIS won’t cover the full cost, it can cover what you have to pay over and beyond the base price. For example, if you need a specialised saddle for horse riding, you cover the cost of a standard saddle and the NDIS covers the cost of any extra modifications.
  2. Assistive Technology: For complex equipment from a specialist disability supplier. An OT assessment is needed for this type of equipment confirming it's suitable for your needs and is reasonable and necessary.

Accessing sporting clubs with plan management

Many sporting clubs and community organisations are not registered with the NDIS because they haven't had the time or resources to register. If your plan is NDIS managed, you can't use your funds to access these non-registered organisations. When you have a plan manager, like Plan Partners, you can choose from both registered and non-registered providers, giving you access to a wider range of sporting clubs and activities.