Games and Sports play an important role on the physical and mental health of human beings. A proper sports training ensures optimum health benefits. Swami Vivekananda insists on fitness of the body above anything else, as a basic condition for progress in life, either material or spiritual. Hence we felt the need to start a Sports academy for the benefit of children with disabilities.
General sports’ training is very common among children because of its popularity in public, abundance of awareness among beneficiaries and easy accessibility of training personnel. Sports’ training for persons with disabilities is rather less known in India because of the contrary reasons. In some cases Special infrastructural facilities amounting to Crores, constant monitoring through sophisticated equipment and expert medical care are mandatory. In a developing country like India such things cannot be affordable by people in general and persons with disabilities (PWD) in particular, where both the words PWD and poverty are synonyms. The solution is to choose/invent cost effective methods of play and train the children with disabilities on these lines.
The Games thus tailored for the needs of persons with disabilities fall under the subject matter of Adapted Physical Education (APE). The sports trainer for the said purpose should possess thorough knowledge both of Special Education and Physical Education. FDMSE is ideally suited for this purpose. We have play grounds earmarked for this purpose. We have Faculty of General &Adapted Physical Education and Yoga (GAPEY) stationed in Coimbatore Campus. GAPEY runs certificate courses in Special Olympics and Adapted Physical Education. The students undergoing these courses, as a part of their curriculum come over to FDMSE for training the children with disabilities. Also the Special Teachers taking care of children at FDMSE under go these courses offered at GAPEY and in turn train the children in Adapted games and sports.
We have the following facilities at the play grounds meant for children with disabilities at FDMSE.
- A path way for warm up running
- An open area for warm up exercises
- A mini-football court
- A Throw ball court
- A Bocce court
- An area with kinder-garden play equipment
- A long jump cum sand pit
- A small model hillock
We attempted and succeeded in combining the play area and garden to give a natural feel for the children while they are at play. We also conduct Yoga-Asana classes for children with disabilities tailoring them to the need of the particular individual. Trainers from GAPEY attend to the needs of the children. It was observed that sports training and Yoga-Asana training have positive influence on the health and personality of children with disabilities. There is a lot of scope for research in this area it being cutting edge.