Adaptive Sports and the Many Benefits for those with Special Needs

Adaptive Sports and the Many Benefits for those with Special Needs
Adaptive Sports

Adaptive sports keep those with special needs fit.

Does your child love sports, but lack the mobility to play them?

The good news is that he can still enjoy them. Introducing Adaptive Sports, or sports for those with disabilities. If the term seems foreign to you, you’ll want to know more about them. Of course, you’ll want to find out how they can benefit your sports-loving child.

What are adaptive sports?

As their name suggests, Adaptive Sports are sports played by people who face unique challenges. These include physical and cognitive difficulties.

Organizers change these sports to suit the needs of the disabled. While some of them are adaptive, others have no equal in non-disabled sports. An example of this is Wheelchair Racing, which is open to persons with any disability. Disabilities are either physical, mental permanent or temporary.

Why Adaptive Sports?

With lifestyles becoming busier each day, people need to stay fit. Those with disabilities are no exception. Adaptive sports may have more benefits for them than you realize.

1.Reduced depression

First of all, those who practice disabled sports have lower depression rates. Exercise releases the ‘happy’ chemical, serotonin, which keeps them upbeat.

2. Improved self-esteem

Everyone’s ego needs a lift once in a while, and adaptive sports offers that. Those with disabilities feel more confident knowing that they are good at a sport.

3. Better appearance

Also, practitioners of adaptive sports are fighting fit. Many look as athletic as their non-disabled peers.

4. Reduced anger

Since exercise releases serotonin, the ‘happiness’ chemical, it reduces frustration. Adaptive sports prompt practitioners to control their emotions.

5. Better mobility

Furthermore, exercise promotes joint flexibility. That increases participants’ mobility and reduces pain as well.

6. Fewer health problems

Those who practice adaptive sports have more opportunities than their peers to exercise. Consequently, they have fewer health problems.

7. Better Self-Care

Finally, sports promotes agility and movement. With more chances to move about on their own, practitioners can care for themselves.

Adaptive Sports

Disabled Sports: Do you fancy a game of wheelchair basketball?

Types of Adaptive Sports

If you have a child who’s physically adept despite having disabilities, adaptive sports may suit him, or she to a T. Here are a few that he or she can try.

1. Cycling

First of all, being disabled doesn’t mean an inability to exercise. Modified bikes allow the disabled to cycle. Hand cycling lets a person pedal with his or her arms; Tandem bikes suit the needs of those who have hearing challenges.

2. Golf

Yes, those with unique challenges can become Tiger Woods. Adaptive golf will help them to stabilize their body and develop flexible muscles.

Adaptive Sports

Adaptive Sports at Healing Horses
Credit: Chithra Rogers

3. Adaptive Riding

Hippotherapyadaptive riding aids those with challenges in their development. It improves the cognitive, motor, emotional, and social skills. Healing Horses is an organization in Singapore that makes therapeutic riding available to those with special needs.

4. Paddling

Activities such as canoeing, kayaking, canoeing, and rafting are boating activities that those with challenges can adapt to suit their needs. All they need to do is make changes to the grips on boats.

5. Sitting Volleyball

As the name suggests, participants sit during a game of sitting volleyball. With one exception, the rules of the sport are the same. The participants’ bottoms must stay in contact with the floor when they hit the ball.

6. Adaptive Swimming

Those with physical challenges can swim in the same way as those without disabilities. Adaptive swim strokes include the freestyle, butterfly, and breaststroke. Since there’s no need for equipment, it requires few, if no changes.

7. Wheelchair Basketball

Wheelchair basketball has many of the rules as regular basketball, bar some changes for dribbling and contact with the wheelchair.

8. Wheelchair racing

The name says it all, Those who take part in wheelchair racing race, on stadium tracks, in wheelchairs. The same rules for regular athletics apply.

If your loved one has an interest in sports but has challenges, don’t lose heart. Adaptive sports boost physique and morale.