For the first time, on February 15 and March 23, Parasports Québec gave the Faculty of Human Kinetics (FASAP) student community an original and very concrete experience. Indeed, the latter have been able to put themselves in the shoes of younger or less young athletes with one or more disabilities by participating in some of the adapted sports.
Lecturer Anne-Jose Beaudoin shared this experience with her undergraduate students in Physical Education and Health Education as part of the course. Adapted Physical Education: Physical and Intellectual Aspects (EPS312) and a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in the course Engine Development (KIN330).
The purpose of the organization’s visit to UdeS was to allow the FASAP student community to become familiar with adapted sports so that they can then better educate them and better intervene in the lives of people with disabilities or disabilities. Thus, they had the opportunity to play the following sports: skydiving, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and boccia. In addition, since these visits were preceded by a conference at the beginning of the winter term, the students were able to put the previously learned theory to good use.
Parasports Québec is the official governing body for wheelchair sports. He oversees the following disciplines: wheelchair basketball, wheelchair curling, para-athletics, wheelchair football, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.
Lecturer Anne-Jose Beaudoin explains, “I wanted to put PE and health education students in the position of someone living with a disability or handicap so that they could understand a little better. I also wanted them to see how they could tailor their PE lessons to promote the inclusion of young people living with physical or movement disabilities. They were also able to understand that everyone can participate in adapted activities, including those who do not have a disability or disability.
For kinesiology students interested in motor development, this experience gave them a better understanding of “normal” motor development.
Deprived of a function in an adapted activity (for example, deprived of the use of legs in wheelchair basketball), they may realize the participation of this function in “normal” development. It is when we are deprived of this that we realize the importance and the chance to have function, meaning or ability in all daily activities.
Anne-Jose Beaudoin, FASAP teacher
One thing is certain, it will allow them to act as a “bridge” during their professional lives between people living with disabilities who practice less physical activity than the general population and adapted physical activities.
This practical experience was a real success. The students unanimously confirmed that the participation in these adapted sports, combined with theoretical training, allowed them to better learn how to intervene with clients who have physical or movement disorders. The training also allowed them to discover ways to adapt certain activities to such a clientele. In this way, they have gained a unique experience and a new perspective on the problems faced by young people with disabilities, which will allow them to include activities that are not usually considered in physical education classes.
This course is a concrete example of the important link that FASAP constantly maintains between theory and practice, as students have been able to take up adapted sports themselves in order to better understand the challenges faced by young people living with physical or movement disabilities. As with most courses taught at FASAP, learning happens in action!
For the FASAP community that shared this experience with us, they were able to test the adaptation of rules or positions. Now they know who we are and that we can serve as a reference tool for them throughout their careers. We certainly hope that we will be approached more and more by physical education teachers, kinesiologists and even physiotherapists to involve young people with disabilities in sports instead of leaving them out, for example, for math or French. .
Alexis Bulenger, Beyond the Limits Program Coordinator, Parasports Quebec