Sport is a means in which people with disabilities can activate and enhance their talents and abilities, thus including themselves with more success in everyday life.
People with disabilities can practice sports in Rijeka at about twenty sports clubs. All sports and recreational facilities managed by the city company Rijeka sport have been adapted for movement of people with disabilities.
Beaches for people with disabilities
The carrying capacity of all beaches is assessed to reach 7,000 persons, out of which beaches for people with disabilities can accommodate 600 persons, Kostanj beach can accommodate 300 people, Ploče beach can accommodate 200 people with movement impairments and the beach near the Kantrida stadium 100 people.
Kostanj beach is the first beach in Croatia that has been entirely adapted for people with disabilities and the first one in Rijeka to receive the Blue Flag, symbol of a preserved and safe environment.
Kostanj beach for people with disabilities is situated in the western part of the city of Rijeka, immediately next to the coastal road that connects Rijeka to the tourist area of the Opatija Riviera. It is situated next to the Kostanj cove promenade in a very beautiful and attractive part of the Kvarner Bay, between Bivio and the Preluk cove. Beach users are, first of all, people with severe and profound disabilities and their families.
Kostanj Beach is equipped with special equipment: a lift that enables severely disabled people to be lowered into the sea, a ramp for entry of moderately disabled people into the sea, sanitary blocks, beach showers, handrails and safety nets. Currently, Kostanj beach is one of the best equipped beaches of this type in the Mediterranean. Spatial planning allows people with disabilities of all age groups to simply move and functionally use all the space for swimming, rehabilitation and rest. However, the beach is not of a closed type, and is therefore used by others who must respect the beach order.
Part of the beach extends over the terraces that slope down towards the sea. All floor surfaces have been treated to prevent slipping.
A car park has been provided near the beach.
The City of Rijeka, through its Department for Health and Social Welfare, maintains the beach, during the summer months it organizes a rescue service, i.e. lifeguards trained by the Croatian Red Cross who are always ready to provide assistance to beach users.
People with disabilities from other Croatian cities come to Kostanj beach individually or in an organized manner.
Directly below the Kantrida swimming pool complex, there is a 350 metres long shoreline, that covers an area of 14,000 sq.m., including Ploče beach with accompanying facilities and a promenade. By day, this is the most visited beach in Rijeka and at night it is a great place to hang out and stroll around.
The beach has showers, 22 dressing cabins and 13 toilets, including those adapted for people with disabilities, available for bathers. There is a wheelchair ramp that allows people with disabilities easier access to the sea and elevator access to the beach.
Ploče beach visitors can park in a public garage and take the elevator down to the reception of the Kantrida swimming pool complex. Across a bar terrace they reach the stairs that lead to the promenade and the beach, there is a platform available for people with disabilities that raises them to the level of the sun deck where they can take another platform down to the promenade, i.e. the beach. This access for people with disabilities is also available during the winter period.
Since 2012 construction works have been carried out on “Igralište” beach (next to the Kantrida stadium) in order to adapt access to the beach for people with restricted mobility: access to the beach has been adapted owing to a ramp up to the car park, instead of stairs, a new ramp has been installed along the beach and a sanitary block with a toilet for people with disabilities, also access to the restaurant has been provided. In addition to a new concrete sun deck, built in 2013 and 2014, for bathing season 2015, a ramp with handrails was installed allowing people with disabilities to get into the sea.