Power Soccer

Power Soccer

Mackenzie and Justin evaluate active and passive range of motion for an athlete. Head control and rotation are essential elements of power wheelchair soccer as various impairments limit an athlete’s ability to see the ball or action behind him/her. Assessing ROM, among other variables, is part of this sport’s classification system to promote fairness and equitable competition.

Affect in Wheelchair Athletes

One of our award recipients, Frazer Atkinson, studied 327 wheelchair athletes this spring. Frazer found that athletes, in general, wanted to be perfectionists and had high involvement in prosocial behaviors. One of my favorite aspects of sport is that it builds communities of people - this is especially important for people with disabilities who face a lot of barriers to social opportunities. Athletes also reported some altruistic behaviors outside of sports. Great study.

Exercise Programming for Veterans

Exercise Programming for Veterans

Jun Oh, a doctoral student at Texas Women’s University, under the supervision of Dr. Ron Davis, directed a 9-week structured exercise program on veterans and community members with physical disabilities. Jun not only examined outcomes on health-related physical fitness (e.g., muscular strength) but he also studied self-efficacy and quality of life.

Spring 2018 Project Summaries

I’m An Athlete is sponsoring 7 project in the spring of 2018. Below is a brief summary of each project:

·      A Community and Therapeutic Recreation major for UNC-Greensboro is partnering with the local parks and recreation department to start a floor curling program to increase socialization, self-determination, and mobility in adaptive sport participants. Maintaining physical activity is key to preserving quality of life and this program will help some athletes maintain their activity and provide a new option for others.

·      A Kinesiology major from Mississippi State University is developing energy expenditure equations for adults with Down Syndrome. Health disparities are prevalent in this population and the project will enable practitioners to use practical movement technology to design and oversee proper weight management and activity programs for adults with Down Syndrome.

·      A Physical Education and Recreation major from North Carolina Central University is examining athletic identity in wheelchair basketball athletes. These data will allow therapeutic recreation and disability sport specialists to better recruit and design community and competitive sport options for persons with physical impairments.

·      A Doctor of Physical Therapy from Marshall University will assess sled-hockey athletes and their parents on mood and self-expression. Disability sport athletes are often isolated in sport and the current project aims to bridge the gap and raise awareness of the potential psychological benefits of adaptive sports. By engaging in adaptive sports, athletes not only learn to accept their disability, but overcome functional limitations to achieve self-actualization.

·      A Ph.D. student studying Psychology at the University of Kentucky will evaluate parental barriers for their child with autism’s involvement in physical activity as well as the effects of sport participation on youth self-efficacy. This researcher hopes to identify perceived parental barriers for adolescents with autism, a population that is typically excluded from adapted sport. This study will also examine if sport can increase self-efficacy in those with autism-spectrum disorder.

·      A Health and Applied Human Science student from UNC-Wilmington is examining the effect of an 8-week adapted physical education program on sport skills. Unlike able-bodied sports, adapted sports afford individuals more opportunities for physical activity as they age. Sport provides essential social, functional, and health benefits to persons with disabilities and the ability to prepare more individuals for sport opportunities can only enhance quality of life for individuals typically excluded from physical activity and sport.

A lecturer in Kinesiology at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (currently completing a doctorate degree) is assessing cardiovascular function of youth wheelchair basketball players to determine the health benefits of sustained participation. There is little existing information on the physiological responses from participating in youth adapted sports. Therefore, the main benefit of this study is to gain knowledge on what level of intensity and caloric expenditure occurs from participating in a wheelchair basketball game.