Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Sports Activities as a Factor in Socialization of Deaf Students

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Sports Activities as a Factor in Socialization of Deaf Students

Article excerpt


Sport for children with disabilities is observed from various aspects. It can be considered a means for understanding and interaction among the deaf, an instrument of their rehabilitation that is a utensil of socialization and social identification with the hearing population that is not easy to achieve through other sociocultural forms. Sport leans on perspective defined by the deaf themselves for their pattern of behavior with social surroundings. Today's society tends to focus on consequences of deafness and difficulties faced by those people and through sport the deaf define themselves as equal to the hearing. "Sport for the deaf represents social institution within which deaf people claim their right to make a choice through organization, competition and socialization of other deaf people participating in sport activities" Stewart, (1991) (according to: DePauw and Gavon, 1995).

Arthur,Sue,Finch,Helen (1999) concluded that people with disabilities can recognize physical and social benefits resulting from their participation in physical activities, especially sports when they take part with other people in their community. However, the same authors assert, fear of being unsuccessful, as well as inconsistence and small scope of necessary physical activities contributes to very modest participation of people with disabilities in those activities. Recent study concerning sports in England carried out by Finch et al. (2000) concluded that young people with disabilities have far less chance to participate in extracurricular sports activities (that is outside regular school classes, but in school's organization) or to participate outside the sports at school. For instance, 16% of sample consisting of young people with disability participated in extracurricular sports activities in comparison to 45% of general sample including young people and 47% of young people with disabilities participated in certain sports activities during the weekend in comparison to 74% of general population going in for certain sports activity during the weekend. Main reasons cited in Finch's research that prevent young people with disabilities to participate in sports activities are identified as follows:

Lack of money (37%)

I am limited by my health condition (37%)

Local facilities are not suitable (37%)

No local sports facilities in close environment (34%)

Difficult transportation to sports facilities (32%)

Local clubs have no understanding for my disability (32%)

I do not want to go by myself (25%)

Regardless the reason for children not to participate in physical activities, we can consider results of researches during last couple of years, Hellmich (1997) in the newspaper USA Today from 1st July 1997, concluded that merely 22% of children is physically active on daily basis, 49% of them is moderately kinetically active and only 34% of them attend physical education classes in their schools, while nearly 23% of children do not have these lessons for various reasons (health, disinterest or no reason at all). He identified that almost 54% of children at the age of 6 to 11 are obese and rate of obesity is increasing by the day. It is also deducted that physical activity represents an integral part of learning process in schools on all levels and that incapable children, that is, children not engaged in sports have very low self esteem, dislike group activities and become asocial. Children involved in sports activities feel better, fit the group more easily and are less likely to become obese later in life. Psychically, sports stimulations help intellectual development, sharpen motor skills, grow better emotional and social development in children and help at depression appearance and increase selfconfidence in children. Inactive child activated in sports competitions and activities improves self-esteem and develops better communication. This is especially important in deaf children who are limited in communication for the reason of undeveloped speech. …

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