Most people with intellectual disabilities have comorbid health conditions, which will impact optimization of sporting performance. Classification is used in Paralympic events to ensure that those with similar levels of functional ability compete fairly against each other. An evidence-based approach needs to be developed for athletes with intellectual disabilities to be classified in relation to their overall functional capacity into competition groups of similar ability. This research builds on previous work using the taxonomy of The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to group athletes with intellectual disabilities into comparable competition groups as an approach to Paralympic classification. Three groups of athletes—Virtus, Special Olympics, and Down syndrome—are compared using the ICF questionnaire indicating functional health status in relation to sporting performance. The questionnaire was found to discriminate between athletes with Down syndrome and other athletes, and an approach to using a cutoff score to develop competition classes is explored.
Connor J.M. Holdback, Rony Ibrahim, David S. Haydon, Ross A. Pinder, Paul N. Grimshaw, and Richard M. Kelso
This research provides a review of seated shot put alongside new data from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with the aim to understand the latest trends in equipment within a recently established rule set and how key equipment variables may impact performance for athletes in different classifications. First, a review of the literature found that the throwing pole is a key equipment aid that is not well understood, in part due to limitations in testing design. New data from the 2020 Paralympic Games showed inconsistent trends for the use of the throwing pole among athletes, particularly in transitionary classes (F33–34 and F54–55). A two-way analysis of variance found a main effect of classification on performance (p < .001), as well as an interaction effect between pole use and classification on performance (p < .05). Notably, pole users are seen to perform better than non–pole users in Class F32 (p < .05).
Athina Papailiou, Janine K. Coates, Carolyn R. Plateau, Hugh Gilmore, and Jamie B. Barker
Organizational culture in sports affects well-being, performance, and overall success. Although team culture has been explored within able-bodied teams, little is known about culture development within parasport. Using a descriptive case study approach, our study examined the culture development and experiences of an elite parasport team. Two semistructured individual telephone interviews were conducted with nine participants (athletes and staff), and one athlete-participant completed one interview. An inductive thematic analysis revealed two themes: approach to culture development and team culture components. Culture development was linked with facilitative leadership and important resources. This supported the team to create their shared values and mechanisms, including a behavioral framework, other artifacts (e.g., shared language and team motto), and a relaxed environment. These helped to maintain their agreed culture and benefited their well-being, progress, and team cohesion. Our results offer a starting point regarding research into the culture of elite parasport and have practical implications for managers, coaches, and psychologists.
Joshua R. Pate
Marie Abu Itham, Serene Kerpan, Robert Balogh, and Meghann Lloyd
Children with autism engage in active play in different ways than children who are neurotypical, but their active play behaviors are not well understood. Research with twins and triplets with autism offers a unique opportunity to gain a clear picture of the play behaviors of children with autism because twins and triplets share many similarities (age, access to toys, etc.). Through semistructured interviews, this descriptive phenomenological study aimed to describe the active play behaviors of 19 twins and triplets with autism from the perspective of their parents (N = 9). The interviews revealed two main themes: (a) parents’ descriptions of active play and (b) parents’ descriptions of social play. The results reveal the diverse active and social play behaviors of twins and triplets with autism; parents described their children’s play behavior when engaging in sensory, indoor, outdoor, and organized play. These results suggest that children with autism may be meeting the definition of active play in nontraditional ways.
Michael VanNostrand, Katie Emberley, Erin Cairns, Kristina Shanahan, and Susan L. Kasser
Objective: The purpose of the study was to understand how people with multiple sclerosis experience dual-tasking situations in their everyday lives. Methods: Focus groups involving a total of 11 individuals with multiple sclerosis (eight females and three males) participated in this qualitative inquiry. Participants were asked open-ended questions focused on the nature of and consequences around dual tasking when standing or walking. Reflexive thematic analysis was employed to examine the data. Results: Three themes were generated from the data: (a) Life Is a Dual Task, (b) The Social Divide, and (c) Sacrifices for Stability. Conclusions: This study highlights the significance and impact of dual tasking on the lived experience of adults with multiple sclerosis, furthering the need to more fully examine this phenomenon and potentially improve fall-prevention interventions and facilitate community participation.
Mary-Grace Kang, Audrey Anne Esguerra, Aila Nica Bandong, Roselle Guisihan, Frances Rom Lunar, Kristofferson Mendoza, Carlos Dominic Olegario, Yves Palad, Esmerita Rotor, and Gabriella Isabel Tablante
A comprehensive evaluation of physical activity (PA) engagement and policy implementation among Filipino children and adolescents with disabilities is vital in the promotion of an active healthy lifestyle. This is the first Para Report Card of the Philippines that presents the available evidence on the 10 commonly used PA indicators. Published and gray literature were searched for country-specific evidence on PA behaviors, physical fitness, and sources of influence. Stakeholders representing relevant national institutions, special education schools, and advocacy groups also provided input on the grades. Only Organized Sport and Government indicators had sufficient data to be graded F and B, respectively. The rest of the indicators were graded as incomplete due to the limited availability of nationally representative data. Findings of the Philippines 2022 Para Report Card on PA highlight the need to strengthen the documentation and evaluation of these indicators among Filipino children and adolescents with disabilities.
Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
Melissa A. Fothergill, Danna Baik, Hannah M. Slater, and Pamela L. Graham
This study provides insight into an inclusive program between Special Olympics (SO) and academy football (soccer) players in the United Kingdom from the perspectives of players and facilitators. Qualitative focus groups were conducted across 30 participants (six facilitators, 14 Premier League academy players, and 10 SO players). Focus groups compared stakeholders’ experiences of participating in a season-long inclusive football program. Three overarching higher order themes were generated, which highlighted positive outcomes from taking part. SO players provided endorsement for developing friendships and improving football skills, whereas academy players cited the positive impact that SO players had on their mood and motivation. Facilitators reflected on positive player outcomes and subsequent accomplishments. Overall, the findings indicated that this shared experience had psychosocial and football-specific benefits for everyone who participated. Facilitators indicated that these benefits could transition into everyday life but noted that there needs to be further considerations for future programs.