With our Parasport in Schools program, we strive for the inclusion of all, and to bring awareness and understanding to students who have a disability.
It has been proven through research that physical activity is an important aspect to the physical and mental wellbeing of children. However, for children with a physical disability, physical activity is often harder to acquire. Children with disability tend to get involved in organized sport at a later stage in life, often delaying their opportunity to develop their physical literacy. In addition, inaccessible playground and recreational facilities, a lack of accessible programming, and a reduced sense of knowledge or awareness in the general community are all barriers to physical activity. This lack of physical activity can be attributed to secondary issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and mental health issues, just to name a few.
Our Parasport in Schools program primary goal is to increase the community’s awareness of the power and potential of Parasport. It fosters inclusion, and fosters an environment where instead of being excluded, they become the center of the program in front of their peers. They are no longer on the side line, but rather, are the starting line up. Articles have shown that reverse integration using a sport activity have an increased effect to the psychosocial wellbeing of an individual with a disability when compared to separated competitive or recreational physical activities (Hutzler, Y., Chacham-Guber, A. & Reiter, S., 2013).
Our association allocates 10 sport wheelchairs that travel to schools in Manitoba. Throughout the rental, physical education teachers utilize the wheelchairs using wheelchair basketball or intramural style games. A number of other sports can be played with our chairs, including wheelchair tennis, wheelchair badminton, etc. The sport wheelchairs work best in an indoor gym facility with hardwood flooring, although other surfaces may also be used.
Our association will deliver and set up the wheelchairs, provide instruction on the equipment, and collect the wheelchairs at the end of the rental. Depending on staff availability, staff will also provide a presentation to students or provide in-class instruction. If available, this will typically occur on the drop-off or pick-up dates.
Who Participates in Parasport?
A common misconception in parasport is that sports are limited to individuals who are everyday wheelchair users. In fact, depending on the sport, the range of abilities are limitless. Some sports, such as wheelchair basketball, can see athletes with no disability participating into the national championships. Minimal disabilities, typically joint-related issues, are considered classifiable athletes in certain sports. Other sports, such as athletics, have 30 different classifications for their throwing events.
Rental Fee: $100/day, excluding weekends.
Mileage: $0.50/km for destinations outside the City of Winnipeg.
Subsidies: If a school is unable to afford the rental rate, they may speak directly with our office regarding a subsidy for their school.
Booking: Schools are encouraged to contact our office directly to discuss logistics, or schools may use the booking form link located below.
Priorities: MWSA will always prioritize bookings in which students with a disability have been identified.