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Handbook of Disability Sport and Exercise Psychology$
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Jeffrey J. Martin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190638054

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190638054.001.0001

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Entering Sport

Entering Sport

(p.57) 6 Entering Sport
Handbook of Disability Sport and Exercise Psychology

Jeffrey J. Martin

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents research that sheds light on the ways in which individuals with disabilities get their start in sport. Many people with acquired disabilities start disability sport as novices yet may have had experience in able-bodied sport before the disability. Children with congenital disabilities may start sport at a young age. However, many children with disabilities face a variety of barriers to sport participation. Opportunities for disabled children to learn about sport via school physical education and school-sponsored sports are much scarcer than for able-bodied children. A major challenge for all individuals with disabilities is that formal and informal opportunities are often limited or not widely advertised, or transportation is lacking. As a result, many athletes with disabilities are more reliant on socialization agents such as teammates, coaches, enlightened parents, medical doctors, and physical therapists. In particular, people associated with the medical profession are potentially more influential for athletes with disabilities than for able-bodied athletes, who may have limited contact with physical, occupational, recreational, or rehabilitation therapists.

Keywords:   physical therapy, coaches, parents, disability sport, doctors, teammates

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