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Dr Ian Brittain London Paralympics 2012 - The Forgotten Games?

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Ian Brittain London Paralympics 2012 - The Forgotten Games?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Ian Brittain London Paralympics The Forgotten Games?

2 Contents Brief history of the development of the Paralympic Games. Models of disability and how they apply to research. Examples of how these models translate into perceptions and barriers. Audience participation! The present and the future.

3 Dr Ludwig Poppa Guttmann German Jewish Neurologist Asked by the British Government in February 1944 to set up the National Spinal Injuries Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital near Aylesbury. Mainly to take care of the numerous soldiers and civilians suffering from spinal injuries as a result of World War II. Used sport as a form of remedial exercise and a means of social reintegration and recognition.

4 Opening day of the XIV Olympic Games in London – 29 th July To mark the presentation of a paraplegic bus an archery competition was held between teams from Stoke Mandeville and the Star and Garter Home, Richmond Upon Thames. First official competition for athletes with disabilities. 16 archers took part. Star and Garter won.

5 First International Competition In 1952 a team of four competitors from the Doorn Military Rehabilitation Centre at Aardenburg in the Netherlands arrived to take part. This is recognised as the first international competition for athletes with disabilities.

6 The First Paralympic Games The first Paralympic Games took place in Rome, Italy in 1960 following on shortly after the Olympic Games. At an audience with Pope Paul XIII the Pope stated Dr Guttmann, you are the De Coubertin of the Paralysed! The Games were held outside Stoke Mandeville every four years from then on following the Olympic cycle. Up until the early nineties the International Stoke Mandeville Games continued to be held in the intervening years.

7 YearLocationNo. of Countries No. of Athletes 1960Rome, Italy21139* (~400) 1964Tokyo, Japan21238* (~375) 1968Tel Aviv, Israel28774* (~800) 1972Heidelberg, West Germany42919* (~1000) 1976Örnsköldvik, Norway Toronto, Canada401283* (~1650) 1980Geilo, Sweden Arnhem, The Netherlands421645* (~1900) 1984Innsbruck, Austria21419

8 YearLocationNo. of Countries No. of Athletes 1984Stoke Mandeville, UK & New York, USA * (~2800) 1988Innsbruck, Austria Seoul, South Korea Tignes-Albertville, France Barcelona, Spain & Madrid, Spain ~ Lillehammer, Norway Atlanta, USA Nagano, Japan Sydney, Australia Salt Lake, USA Athens, Greece Torino, Italy38474


10 Not the Special Olympics! Special Olympics was formed in the USA in the late sixties by Eunice Kennedy-Shriver. It is about participation, having fun and everyone being a winner. It is only for individuals with intellectual disabilities and has its own World Games. The Paralympics is about elite sport of the highest level and caters for a wide range of physical disabilities. Intellectually disabled athletes are currently banned from Paralympic competition following a scandal in Sydney, 2000.

11 Models of Disability Medical Model of Disability Problems that arise are due to the individual impairment and consequently the problem of the individual with the impairment. Impairments are issues that need to be cured through medical intervention in order for the individual achieve societally accepted norms for bodily function.

12 Social Model of Disability The problems encountered by people with disabilities are a result of the built environment and societal perceptions of disability. This model is the basis for disability politics and underpins nearly all research carried out in the area of disability today.

13 The actual situation is somewhere between the two models. There will always be situations where the individual impairment will have an impact i.e. a blind person and non-verbal cues. The social model attempts to shift emphasis toward those areas of our world than can be changed.

14 How these Models Translate into Perceptions and Barriers Perceptions (based in the medical model) Non-contributing and dependent members of society. Theyre not like us! Anyone with a physical disability must also have an intellectual disability. Disability sport isnt really sport.

15 Barriers (Psychological and Tangible) Self-Confidence and Self-Image Physical Accessibility Transport Finance The rules of (able-bodied) sport Disability specific implications Availability of adapted equipment Opportunities for participation Key Personnel (Coaches, Administrators etc)

16 The Camera never lies! But what does it say to you?































47 Dearth of Paralympic and Disability Sport Research Currently very few researchers working in Paralympic and disability sport. However, that number is growing. New Issues i.e. Technological Doping.

48 What Im Currently Working on. Library and Archive of Materials. Developing an MoU with IPC and IWAS. Developing a possible Paralympic and Disability Sport Research Centre. Integrating Disability Sport Issues into the overall curriculum (rather than a stand alone module). A possible National Paralympic Academy. A full Paralympic Games History A full British Paralympic History Various papers and book chapters

49 Possibilities Disabled Students. Changing Attitudes. Fast Growing Job Market. Impacts on Every Subject Area. Endless untapped areas for research. £5 Billion Spending Power per Year!

50 London 2012 is a massive opportunity for Paralympic and disability sport, and for people with disabilities in general, to show what they can really do. You too can play your part by making disability sport an INTEGRAL part of your curriculum.

51 Brittain, I., 2006, Paralympic success as a measure of national social and economic development, in the International Journal of Eastern Sports and Physical Education, Vol. 4(1), 38 – 47. Brittain, I., 2004, Perceptions of Disability and Their Impact Upon Involvement in Sport for People with Disabilities at All Levels, in Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Vol. 28(4); 429 – 452. Brittain, I., 2004, The Role of Schools in Constructing Self-perceptions Regarding Sport and Physical Education in Relation to People with Disabilities, in Sport, Education and Society, Vol. 9(1); 75 – 94. Huang, C. J. & Brittain. I., 2006, Negotiating identities through disability sport, Sociology of Sport Journal, Vol. 23, p. 352 – 375.

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