Intervention Progress in D’Annunzio University of Chieti–Pescara

The quote by Oscar Pistorius “You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.” clearly represents the main belief of the ESFA project.

The University “Gabriele d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara in collaboration with the Don Orione rehabilitation center started a collaboration (collaborative partnership) in January, 2018 which made it possible to involve a group of 19 intellectually disabled adults in the ESFA project. They had the opportunity to attend once a week one hour-long adapted basketball and swimming sessions. The first two months of the activity represented an accommodation phase in which the participants got used to the basic skills and specific tools of each sport. Afterwards, gradually the group started to acquire new skills through a variety of adapted basketball and swimming activities.

During lessons there were constantly present four Adapted Physical Educators (APE teachers), at least one psychologist and a senior APE from the Don Orione Institution. The swimming sessions were held at the institution’s private swimming pool and the participants were divided in two groups based on their aquatic skills. For the basketball lessons the University of Chieti-Pescara provided an indoor basketball court where the 19 adults formed a team and attended together the sporting activities.

As the pictures demonstrate our participants were collaborative and enjoyed the experience of playing sports. Based on our preliminary observations we can highlight that the ESFA project had an impact on the participants. Here, we are not talking just about physical skills-improvement, but also about visible changes in psycho-social aspects such as communication, collaboration. Interviews with parents/legal tutors help provide us with insight and evidence into the needs, wants, barriers of the participants and possible changes noticed in the participants’ behavior. The results of the interviews show that higher motivation for sport practice has been observed among the participants.





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