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The Change4life Health Campaign

Autor:   •  May 28, 2019  •  Essay  •  888 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,616 Views

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The Change4life health campaign recommend that individuals should carry out at least half an hour of exercise each day, seven days a week. In fact, sport is essential for improved physical, mental, and emotional health. However, of the millions that are intellectually impaired in the UK, only 20% play sport; they have a participation rate of over 50% less than the non-disabled. I propose the investment of £1 billion into increasing these participation rates through subsidised gym memberships, training for specialised coaches, and into creating competitive games.

One of the main reasons for the lack of involvement is that it is increasingly difficult for the intellectually disabled to actually take part. For example, there are a limited number of teams to join, gyms that are too expensive and not adapted to the specific needs of the intellectually impaired (impairments like down syndrome result in a bone deficiency meaning that an average gym is not fit). Because of this, there is a serious need for a comprehensive developmental programme that covers all fitness components. Studies have revealed that intellectually disabled people fared lower in strength than the people without disability of the same ages. They also scored lower in endurance, running speed, agility, reaction time, and flexibility. As you can see, the connection between an intellectual impairment and being physically limited it all too real; the need for an investment like this is crucial to ameliorating the health of the intellectually disabled.

Disability is a complex and powerful social force. The effects of society present disabled people with far greater problems than those caused by their impairments. If change is to happen, it is essential that we understand disability as an instrument of social oppression. We need to acknowledge that such oppression occurs, and that disabled people are subject to the very real effects of other peoples’ attitudes and beliefs. The attitudes are all too negative. Just as racism, sexism, and classism all promote stereotypes, disability is manifested in negative attitudes and false stereotypes that lead to prejudice. Unlike sexism or racism, however, you won’t find disablism in the dictionary. Yet it describes an all-too-real issue - discriminatory, oppressive, or abusive behaviour arising from the belief that disabled people are inferior to others. ‘Institutional disablism’ describes a whole organisation’s disablist attitudes, practice, and culture.

 One way we can help reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with disability is through sport. Sport can transform community attitudes about persons with disabilities by highlighting their skills and reducing the tendency to see the disability instead of the person. Through sport, persons without disabilities interact with persons with disabilities in a positive context, forcing them to reshape assumptions about what persons with disabilities can and cannot do. Sport changes people with disabilities in an equally profound way by empowering them to realise their full potential and advocate change in society.  Sport teaches individuals how to communicate effectively as well as the significance of teamwork and cooperation and respect for others.


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