Want to do sport with a disability? It might seem like your path is strewn with obstacles, but in fact, there's nothing impossible about it. Over time, federations have adapted and now offer accessible infrastructures for handicapped people. But why is it advisable for handicapped people to do sport?
1. The Benefits of Sport for Disabled People
Self-confidence, socialising, reducing differences : sport offers the same physical and psychological benefits for handicapped people as it does for everyone else.
Physical activity is an essential element in the construction of our self-image. Exercising will work the muscles, facilitating movement and travel, for example when using a cane or wheelchair.
"We essentially work the upper body, particularly the shoulders, which do a lot of work" states Romuald Guidez, wheelchair basketball manager for Lille (France). "This physical maintenance prolongs autonomy for the most severely handicapped people, not to mention the psychological benefits, akin to those offered by all sports"
The heart and lungs are also worked, delaying the onset of fatigue.
Some disabled people tend to close themselves off and stop going out, fearing how others might look at them. In this case, sport is a great way of socialising : the pleasure of having fun with team mates, keeping motivated, meeting new people, boosting self-esteem… and Romuald has more to add : "In wheelchair basketball, we see the values of mutual support and solidarity, which are essential in our society."
Basketball, table tennis, archery, judo… What sports can you do despite having a disability? Share your experiences with us!
Many sports are tough on the knees and can make them more fragile : running, football, climbing, athletics and skiing are all sports to be avoided by anyone suffering from knee disorders. But there’s no need to give up sport completely because of a bad knee.