A First Ever Youth Empowerment Programme Through Sports for Students with Disabilities in Hong Kong Funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust
by Cindy Sit, Vice President IFAPA and President ASAPE
Many children with disabilities do not meet the current physical activity recommendations for health (i.e., at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day). Prof. Cindy Sit, current IFAPA Vice-President and ASAPE President, together with her colleagues, Prof. Stephen Wong, Prof. Raymond Sum, and Dr. Jane Yu at the Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, recently secured a funding from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for 3 years. The goal of the project is to empower children with disabilities to become active and healthy through the provision of adapted physical activity (APA) programs in school and family settings. The key objectives are to promote physical and psychosocial health among children with disabilities, advance professional competence practice of physical education teachers and practitioners working with children with disabilities, and enhance knowledge and participation of family on APA.
The project aims to recruit 40 of 60 Hong Kong special schools for children with four disability types (i.e., visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical disabilities, mild/moderate intellectual disabilities). In the first stage, a series of professional development training on APA was offered in The Chinese University of Hong Kong in early and mid-November, 2019. The first event included a presentation on the concept of APA delivered by Prof. Cindy Sit, then followed by the demonstration of Active PE (through the Polar PE Solution), and the provision of taster practical workshop on new/less developed four sports (i.e., sitting volleyball, goalball, floor curling, aerobic dance) on November 1, 2019. Instructors were Dr. Kwok Ng, Mr John Bestebroer, Mr Chan Chun Kuen, and Ms Kathy Chan. A total of 35 participants who were in-service/pre-service PE teachers and community coaches working with children and youth with disabilities participated and they found the presentation and workshop very useful.
To equip participants with the knowledge and practical skills on sitting volleyball and goalball, a 2-day training course of each sport was organized on November 4-5 and 6-7, 2019 respectively. There were 20 participants joining the sitting volleyball and 11 the goalball courses. Again, both training courses were very well-received and over 85% of participants indicated that their knowledge and competence in teaching these two sports were enhanced.
The project team continues to deliver the aim and objectives of the project and is now in the process of developing training materials on the website. The second stage is to offer training workshop on adapted and inclusive physical activity by Mr Ken Black in March/April 2020. Besides, an international conference on APA will be held in early August 2020 in The Chinese University of Hong Kong. All interested participants are welcome to join us.