Ng K. 2020. Adapted Physical Activity through COVID-19

Publication: Adapted Physical Activity through COVID-19

Research Impact: This editorial briefly discusses the field of adapted physical activity (APA) through COVID-19. Although adapted physical activity has lacked sufficient attention in the physical education and sport sciences of late, the work reaches some of the most vulnerable populations, and at risk groups from exposure of COVID-19. I write about three challenges that the APA community encounters as a result of COVID-19. The first is the lack of attention to keep people physically activity when people are in isolation and have disabilities. Physical activity and therapy can be really important for people with disabilities to not only stay healthy, and prevention the early onset of non-communicable diseases, it can be used a prevention strategy for remission to hospitals. Often, people with disabilities require assistants and with social distancing, this has been limited, and it is remains unknown who is taking care of the needed in these times. A second challenge I describe is the physical education. Children with disabilities or those with special educational support, are most likely back at home during isolation with their parents trying to work, take care of their family, and the potentially complicated life of taking care of someone at home. The remote schooling arena has been an eye opener for many physical education teachers, but there is a lack of support for these teachers to provide remote physical education that include children with disabilities. It is just as important for children with individualised education plans to have remote physical education as their peers have. The third challenge is being connected with research and practice. For many people in the APA community, the Summer Paralympics can be a time for inspiration and culture shift towards enabling sport for people with disabilities. Now that Tokyo 2020 has been officially postponed to 2021, many of the plans to inspire, learn, research, and share practices have had to change in one way or another. For example, three relatively large regional conferences in APA were scheduled for 2020, but they have all been cancelled. There are other ways in which people can stay up to do with the latest information about inclusion, sport classification, health and APA, empowerment and so forth, and with these traditional ways now subsided, would it create a new way of thinking for research and dissemination. Would it create new sporting events that would be inclusive rather than segregated? Although I touch upon these three areas, there are many others that I just did not have enough space to touch upon. There is a call for action for people in physical education and sport sciences to work more closely together so that once lockdown is over, there is a stronger community ready to promote physical activity for people of different (dis)abilities and backgrounds.

Ng, K. (2020). Adapted Physical Activity through COVID-19. EUJAPA13(1), 1.  DOI: 10.5507/euj.2020.003


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