Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Sport Corner NDSA: On Track with Track and Field Sports

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Sport Corner NDSA: On Track with Track and Field Sports

Article excerpt

EP is proud to PRESENT THE FIRST OF NDSA's ONGOING COLUMN DISCUSSING INCLUSIVE AND COMPETITIVE SPORTS AS WELL AS RECREATION ACTIVITIES.--THE EDITORS

Last month, EPs readers were introduced to our group, the the National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to "Sports for All.". Beginning with this issue, we will be contributing a column on how to adapt sporting and recreation activities based on the NDSA experience. We thought it would be appropriate to start this series by describing a sport that is relatively simple to coordinate for parents and others who wish to begin their own adaptive sports program: track and field activities. With these activities, it doesn't matter if you only have a few participants--one athlete can even practice alone, although it is not as much fun as having teammates. Another advantage is that the events don't have many complicated rules to learn.

Some NDSA track and field events are the same as those typically associated with the sport, such as the 100, 200 and 400 meter races and do not require any modification. But there are also specialized events. For the younger athletes in the junior division, the distances offered include 20 and 60 meters. There is a "weave" event for power chair users which requires the athlete to move down the track, zigzagging between cones. All wheelchair classes may compete in the slalom. (See picture.) The slalom is an obstacle course requiring attention to the course and control of the wheelchair's movement.

In all track events, athletes compete against others who have been placed in the same classification group. NDSA athlete's are assigned a classification group based on his or her functional abilities to assure equitable competition. We use four classifications for wheelchair users, including power chairs, and four classifications for individuals who can walk. A brief description of the classification system follows which can give a general idea of where an individual may fit in the system. (It is important to note that a "classification team" should do an assessment to determine every athlete's true classification. A classification team typically consists of two or three individuals such as physical therapists, physicians, and sports/recreation professionals. Classifiers have been trained and certified by NDSA to test and observe an athlete's movement patterns, abilities, and limitations. They look at such things as how the athlete grasps objects, freedom of movement in limbs, and balance. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.