Promoted HEPA handbook for children with disabilities based on gymnastics after covid-19

Handbook of gymnastics for children with disabilities/Photo: Paralympic Committee

Gymnastics, as a sport, stimulates the brain, encourages social skills and strengthens gross and fine motor skills. These exercises are not only beneficial for the physical development of the child, but also help in strengthening their cognitive and social abilities. They allow children to learn at their own pace, listen, follow instructions, change and interact with others, leading to their all-round development.

That is why the European network for the promotion of physical health HEPA (Health and Energy Platform of Action) has promoted a manual that can serve as a tool for educators, parents, therapists and everyone involved in the care of the development of children with developmental disabilities. These gymnastics-based activities are designed to be adaptable, inclusive and enjoyable, all while promoting physical health and overall well-being.

The manual contains useful and usable information about the definition of physical activities and physical exercise, developmental difficulties, the role of exercises based on gymnastics to improve the condition of children with developmental disabilities, adaptation of physical activities for children with developmental disabilities, adaptation of physical activities for children with different types and degrees of disabilities (visually impaired, hearing impaired, physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, various spectrums of autism, as well as information regarding physical activities and exercises in post-Covid-19 pandemic conditions.

The authors of the Manual, understanding the critical role of physical activity in overall health and well-being, point out that this manual is a comprehensive guide to promoting physical fitness in children with developmental disabilities through gymnastics-based exercises.

HEPA handbook for children with disabilities based on gymnastics after covid-19

As one of the seven European Commissions in the service of health, HEPA serves to promote the health and well-being of European citizens by facilitating the development of national policies for physical activity. Since 1996, it has been under the auspices of the European Commission's Health Promotion Program. The guidelines in the Manual are designed to help physical activity to improve the health of children with disabilities based on gymnastic exercises.

Gymnastics for children with disabilities/Photo: Paralympic Committee

The Paralympic Committee of North Macedonia, after receiving the final version, will upload the Manual to its website and distribute it to several sports federations and gymnastics clubs in order to promote the importance of physical activity in improving the health, mental and social component in children with disabilities, with the hope that it will find its practical application in gymnasiums.

This project of the Paralympic Committee of North Macedonia is co-financed by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union, called GYM4ALL: Gymnastics for children with disabilities. The holder of the project is the Gymnastics Club from Knin, Croatia, and in addition to the Macedonian Paralympic Committee, the partners in the project are the sports associations Caritas and Bartolomej from Croatia, as well as SD Partizan from Sevnica, Slovenia.


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