The current study explored coach and athlete reactions and challenges leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with a specific focus on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Games’ postponement. Nine Australian Paralympic coaches (n = 3) and athletes (n = 6) shared their experiences in semistructured interviews. The thematic analysis highlighted how participants experienced the emergence of the pandemic in different ways, but all were relieved when the late but eventual decision to postpone the Games was made. Regarding lockdown periods (i.e., social-distancing restrictions), some coaches and athletes thrived under the new reality (i.e., training from home, online coaching) while others had more difficulty adjusting. Furthermore, results highlight the many uncertainties still remaining, which continue to influence participants’ sport and personal lives. The experiences of coaches and athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic sheds light on strategies and resources that could support Paralympic coaches and athletes during current and future crises.
The Emergence of the Pandemic: High-Performance Coach and Athlete Experiences
Nima Dehghansai, Alia Mazhar, Ross Pinder, Joseph Baker, and Ian Renshaw
Irish Para Report Card on Physical Activity of Children and Adolescents With Disabilities
Kwok Ng, Sean Healy, Wesley O’Brien, Lauren Rodriguez, Marie Murphy, and Angela Carlin
For the first time, data on children and adolescents with disabilities in Ireland are reported based on the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Para Report Card methodology. The most recent data from the last 10 years were used in the grading process (A+ to F), and indicators with insufficient data were graded as incomplete. Of the 10 indicators from the Global Matrix Para Report Cards, grades were assigned to Overall Physical Activity (F), Organized Sport (D), Active Transport (D−), Sedentary Behaviors (D−), Family & Peers (C), School (C−), Community & Environment (B−), and Government (B). Irish disability sport organizations were invited to assess the research-led audit and provided commentary around the final grading. The contextual discussion of the grades is presented through the lens of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats with the purpose being to provide direction for the reduction of physical activity disparities among children with disabilities.
Reverse Integration in Wheelchair Basketball—A Mixed-Method Spanish Stakeholders’ Perspective
Javier Pérez-Tejero, Mauro Grassi-Roig, Javier Coterón, and Yeshayahu Hutzler
In Spain, wheelchair basketball competition is well developed and structured; however, reverse integration is not allowed. This study aimed to describe and synthesize the perceptions of Spanish wheelchair stakeholders (players, coaches, referees, and club managers). A mixed-method approach was used, utilizing an ad hoc survey questionnaire (n = 49) and three focus groups (n = 12). Quantitative and qualitative data were interpreted using a triangulation strategy, meaning that both sources of data were combined and analyzed. From the thematic content analysis, two main themes and several subthemes emerged: social context (audience attraction and economic impact, utility and logistics, and promoting inclusion) and sport context (grassroots and elite level). Some reservations at elite level were also reported. From the perspective of the stakeholders explored in this study, reverse integration appears to be well suited for implementation within the Spanish wheelchair basketball framework at all levels.
A Scoping Review of Mixed Methods Research About Physical Activity for Children With Disabilities
Mathieu Michaud, William J. Harvey, and Gordon A. Bloom
The purpose of this scoping review was to examine how mixed methods research (MMR) has been applied in adapted physical activity (APA) research about children and adolescents age 5–18 years with a disability. Six electronic databases were searched to retrieve relevant studies published between 2003 and 2020. Sixty-four studies were identified and analyzed. The findings were organized into five categories of interest: publication information, study objectives, mixed methods research design, participants’ information, and data integration. Challenges related to the design and publication of MMR in APA were uncovered, and suggestions for improvement are provided. This study adds to the knowledge of MMR design, and it provides an understanding of the underlying processes and methodological strategies that have guided this approach in APA research. This article will encourage APA researchers to engage in MMR while also aligning future studies with contemporary MMR literature and publication standards.
Associations Between Perceived Social Support, Perceived Competence, and Physical Activity in Hong Kong Children With Disabilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Ming Hui Li, Jane Jie Yu, Stephen Heung Sang Wong, Raymond Kim Wai Sum, and Cindy Hui Ping Sit
This study aimed to examine the associations between perceived social support, perceived competence, and physical activity in children with physical and intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the third wave of the pandemic in Hong Kong (i.e., July through December 2020), 291 participants age 6–17 years from 27 special schools were included. After controlling for demographic variables, the total variance explained by perceived social support and perceived competence was 24%, F(2, 240) = 12.42, p < .001, with perceived competence having a stronger association with physical activity (β = 0.29, p < .001) than perceived social support (β = 0.07, p = .22). This study highlights two key facilitators for shaping physical activity involvement among children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wheelchair Basketball Athletes’ Perceptions of the Coach–Athlete Relationship
Lara Pomerleau-Fontaine, Gordon A. Bloom, and Danielle Alexander
The majority of research on the coach–athlete relationship has been explored from the perspective of able-bodied athletes. The purpose of this study was to explore wheelchair basketball athletes’ perceptions of the coach–athlete relationship. Timelining and semistructured interviews were conducted with six wheelchair basketball athletes, and data were analyzed using a reflexive thematic analysis. Athletes highlighted the important role that parasport coaches played in fostering an enjoyable wheelchair basketball environment and valued coaches who displayed expertise regarding their athletes’ equipment and had personal parasport athletic experiences. Additionally, athletes identified personal preferences, including coaches who addressed sex differences and maintained professional relationships at the national level as contributing factors to the coach–athlete relationship. The current results benefit both parasport coaches and athletes by providing a portrayal of coaching behaviors, characteristics, and expertise that not only influence the parasport coach–athlete dyad but also affect the well-being and athletic development of parasport athletes.
Volume 39 (2022): Issue 4 (Oct 2022)
Investigating Strategies Used to Foster Quality Participation in Recreational Sport Programs for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Perceived Importance
Emma Streatch, Natasha Bruno, and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung
Quality experiences in sport programming for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can promote physical and psychosocial benefits and long-term quality participation (QP). Unfortunately, children with ASD often experience sport participation barriers and, consequently, participate less in sport compared with children without disabilities. This study investigated QP priorities and strategies that could foster QP for children with ASD. Caregivers (n = 13), volunteers (n = 26), and staff (n = 14) involved in sport programming for children with ASD rated experiential elements of QP using the Measure of Experiential Aspects of Participation. In addition , a two-round Delphi survey with staff (Round 1: n = 11; Round 2: n = 13) generated 22 strategies for promoting QP—each rated highly with regard to importance (5.69–6.85 on a 7-point scale). Strategies were substantiated with published research evidence. Findings informed the development of a QP tool designed to help instructors implement identified strategies in hopes of improving sport experiences for children with ASD.
Results and SWOT Analysis of the 2022 Hong Kong Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Adolescents With Special Educational Needs
Cindy H.P. Sit, Wendy Y.J. Huang, Stephen H.S. Wong, Martin C.S. Wong, Raymond K.W. Sum, and Venus M.H. Li
Background: Following the 2019 Hong Kong Para Report Card, the 2022 Hong Kong Para Report Card aimed to provide an updated and evidence-based assessment for nine indicators related to physical activity in children and adolescents with special educational needs and to assess the results using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. Methods: Using a systematic process, the best available data on nine indicators were searched from the past 10 years and were assessed by a research work group. Letter grades were assigned and considered by stakeholders and auditors. Results: Four indicators were assigned a letter grade (overall physical activity: F [mixed device-measured and self-reported data]; sedentary behaviors: D [device-measured data]; active transportation: D−; government strategies & investment: C+). SWOT analysis highlighted opportunities for facilitating children and adolescents with special educational needs to achieve health recommendations. Conclusion: There were deteriorating trends in physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Effective, multilevel, and cross-sector interventions are recommended to promote active behavior in children and adolescents with special educational needs.
Feasibility of Using Q-Sort to Map Conditional Participation in Physical Activity in Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Susann Arnell, Kajsa Jerlinder, and Lars-Olov Lundqvist
Background: Participation in physical activity among adolescents with autism is often conditional. However, there is a lack of methods for identifying these specific conditions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop and investigate the feasibility of a Q-sort tool to map individual-specific conditions for participation in physical activity among adolescents with autism and to identify different viewpoints regarding conditions for such participation. Method: An exploratory mixed-methods design was employed to investigate the feasibility of using Q methodology and the Q-sort procedure to identify what individual-specific conditions are important for participation in physical activity for adolescents with autism. Results: The adolescents ranked the statements with varying levels of ease. Two viewpoints were identified: Autonomous participation without surprises and Enjoyment of activity in a safe social context. Conclusion: Q-sort is a feasible method for mapping conditions for participation, which can guide the development of tailored physical activity interventions.