The present aspirations for equality, normalization, and integration have given rise to increased demand for further development of sport for special groups. This is dependent upon an understanding of the existing sporting behavior. This article describes several Finnish studies of the sporting behavior of persons on disability pension, war veterans, those chronically ill or disabled, the mentally handicapped, and the visually impaired. Sporting behavior depends on one’s free time, interests, earlier practices, age, gender, and state of health. Poor health or a disability limits sporting activity, but it may also lead to more rehabilitative sport and exercise. The findings of the studies reveal features that need to be developed in sport for special groups.
Request reprints from Dr. Ulla M. Lahtinen, Dept. of Teacher Education, The Swedish University of Finland, Box 311, SF-65101, Vasa, Finland.