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Activities for All – adapted windsurfing Print E-mail

Name of the EGP
Activities for All – adapted windsurfing

Description the EGP
At the beginning the project was a part of an optional subject included in the 2009 APA curriculum of students in Faculty of Social Services and Health care Pori at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK). As future professionals of health care and social service the students were prepared to work in multiprofessional teams of nurses, physiotherapists and social workers to run a challenge course in adapted windsurfing for people with disabilities. A pilot course of Adapted windsurfing was organised on summer 2009 in Yyteri (Finland) and during the pilot many practical ideas for accessibility, equipment modifications, teaching adaptation and co-operation were tested and developed further. As a result of the pilot the adapted windsurfing-course will be carried on integrated into the APE curriculum of SAMK.

Where is it provided?
Area of Satakunta, Yyteri, in the western coast of Finland.

Who is providing this programme
Programme is funded by EU, Satakuntaliitto and SAMK and run by SAMK (Finland) in co-operation with

  • MALIKE, which is an adaptive equipment rental system & service provided by the Finnish Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.
  • Yyteri Surfcentre, which is a home place of Finnish Boardsailing Association (FBA).
  • City of Pori, Department of Sport and Youth affairs?
  • The Broadbeach surf school (Australia) served as an educational resource during the initialisation phase of the project.

Local/national/ European level of programme
The project has local, national and European input, since it aims:

  1. To increase accessibility for people with disabilities in the local services in the Yyteri area (local).
  2. Create more opportunities for active lifestyle for people with disabilities (all levels).
  3. Increase participation in the area of Satakunta for individuals with disabilities (local and rural).
  4. Create a model for multiprofessional co-operation in the field of APA using the frame of ICF (all levels, but mostly European).
  5. Presenting a practical example of how windsurfing can be organised for all (all levels, but mostly European).
  6. Developing and preparing the students for multiprofessional co-operation over the traditional boundaries inside each profession (all levels).

Segregated/inclusive setting:
The local pilot course in 2009 was segregated due to the nature of activities. Marketing and services were designed for people with disabilities only. The starting point for teaching adapted windsurfing was each participant’s functional ability, balance and courage to act in water. The structure of the course proceeded step by step from getting familiarised with water and sea to different balance exercises with and without 84 board and sail. The level of assistance varied from personal assistant to different build-up utilities like side supporters and chairs. The project aims towards inclusion. Many individual solutions and accessibility changes for carrying out adapted windsurfing were created. The pilot course indicated in practice that windsurfing can be organised for all. The pilot encouraged local service providers without previous experience of APA to run these activities and the future non-sport professionals, such as social services and health care students, to be part of, and even actively engage in APA teams.

Target group
Ten children and youngsters with special needs participated in the pilot adapted surfing course. Three students of SAMK were part of the pilot course carrying out their free-elective course APA 3. In all, there were 4 teachers; 1 person from SAMK, 1 person from City of Pori, Department of Sport and Youth affairs and two windsurfing educators of FBA.

Recreational/ competitive level
The nature of pilot and the future projects is recreational.

Contents of the programme
A. Preparation and planning

  1. SAMK free elective course; APA 3 for students who have completed courses APA 1 and APA 2.
  2. Lecturer’s visit to Australia; working as volunteer at Disabled Surfing Association DSA.
  3. Preparation: students have 3 credits of educational courses of Adapted physical activities.
  4. Planning (financing, co-operational partners, environmental modifications and equipment needed, timetable and marketing).
  5. Agreement with FBA (date, educators, equipment).

B. During the course

  1. Assessment of each participant’s functional ability, balance and courage to act in water. Assessment of the level of individual assistance needed (from personal assistant to different build-up utilities like side supporters and chairs). (1–2 hours).
  2. Getting familiarised with equipment and sea 2 hours.
  3. Different balance exercises with and without board and sail, in the water and dry-out exercises.
  4. Training 10 hours.
  5. Feedback from the participants and co-operational partners.

C. After the course

  1. Re-evaluation: Planning, preparation, contents and timetable of the course, environmental changes needed (accessibility), new equipment modifications with some new partners. For example the experiment of using Tandem-board as one of the teaching method turned out to be very important when teaching windsurfing for beginner. As a result of this pilot, the tandem board was bought to Yyteri Surfcenter by City of Pori.
  2. Feedback from the students of SAMK.
  3. Planning for next season’s course and starting new bachelor theses.

Why this EGW is relevant to be included in EUSAPA project?

  • The pilot showed that APA services can be offered by the “non-sport” professionals in co-operation and support of APA and/or (disability) sports expertise in order to promote inclusion. 85
  • The pilot offered for each participant with a disability an opportunity to learn a totally new skill and try out a new activity which is mainly common for able-bodied adults but totally fresh for children and youngsters with special needs in Finland.
  • This learning by doing APA project emphasises the vital element of participation among other ICF elements.
  • The pilot stresses out how equal participation in sports and physical activity in case of a person with a disability may need various skills, competences and knowledge.
  • Accessibility changes as well as and opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities and services in the area of Satakunta through the combined efforts of the University and the external professionals.
  • APA praxis offers opportunities for practical research for various professions. In this project several bachelor theses were initialised: a guide book of adaptations in windsurfing (Bachelor degree in physiotherapy), register service of beach equipment and utilities in Yyteri (Master’s Thesis in Rehabilitation degree programme)), Yyteri for all – accessible beach routes (Master degree programme in Welfare Technology ) and Yyteri for all – winter happening (Bachelor’s thesis in Physiotherapy degree programme).
  • Adapted windsurfing is a relatively new activity in the field of APA and Finland might seem an unusual site for such an activity. Still the pilot of adapted windsurfing indicated in practice that windsurfing can be organised for all despite some hindrances. The pilot may encourage other countries to follow the example in order to promote more inclusive services for all throughout European Union. In addition to that activities offered during the course will expand from windsurfing to new events like golf, kayaking and sailing.

What knowledge, competencies and skills are present in this EGP?
This project in an example of knowledge, competencies and skills requirements of a good APA practices, which can be produced in co-operation of a multi-professional team of students and professionals. The successful team consists of members who have knowledge, competencies and skills of following areas:

  1. Develop and adapt exercise and training programmes for individuals with disabilities and/or special needs for specific sports
    1. Ability to develop appropriate programmes
    2. Ability to communicate in the appropriate environment
    3. Ability to adapt in the appropriate environment
      1. Mission, vision, aims and objectives of the programme
      2. Individuals with disabilities and/or special needs in relation to sport (exercise and training)
      3. Sport opportunities and settings for individuals with special needs
      4. Sports Science
      5. Theory of sport training
      6. Sports specific background
      7. Rules and classifications
      8. Legal and ethical issues
      9. General principles of adaptation
  2. Communication and cooperation
    1. Ability to communicate with the appropriate support networks
    2. Ability to communicate effectively with participants and target groups
    3. Ability to identify and choose appropriate strategies to communicate with key individuals or networks
      1. General communication strategies
      2. Methods of alternative communication as required 86
  3. Initial assessment of current situation and past history
    1. Ability to use specific assessment instruments
    2. Ability to analyse and interpret the data on the basis of theory
    3. Ability to consider and assess accessibility in the sports specific context
      1. Protocols, test measurements, batteries, biographical information, techniques for questioning
      2. Accessibility
  4. Develop and adapt exercise and training plans
    1. Ability to identify resources
    2. Ability to adapt and use appropriate equipment
    3. Ability to apply principles of theory of sport training
    4. Ability to set realistic goals
      1. Sports Science
      2. Theory of sport training
      3. Sports specific background
      4. Rules and classifications
  5. Adapt coaching and education strategies
    1. Ability to use appropriate coaching methods
    2. Ability to communicate
    3. Ability to actively engage with the coaching environment (e.g. interaction, learning process, cooperation, cohesion)
      1. Coaching styles
      2. Coaching methods
      3. General communication strategies
      4. Methods of alternative communication as required
      5. Appropriate Sports Science knowledge
  6. Administration
    1. Ability to perform administrative tasks
    2. Ability to organise and prioritise information
      1. Basic administration systems
      2. Language and information technology
      3. Prepare reports
  7. Evaluate impact and re-adjust the plan
    1. Ability to use specific assessment instruments
    2. Ability to practically interpret, reassess and re-adjust the plan
    3. Ability to be self reflective
      1. Protocols, observation techniques, test measurements, test batteries, biographical information, techniques for questioning
  8. Advocacy
    1. Ability to communicate and develop networks
    2. Ability to create opportunities for empowerment
      1. Legislation at local, national and international levels
      2. Support services
      3. Marketing

Further Information
Contact Kati Karinharju from the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK), Finland
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Example of good practice was described by Kati Karinharju from the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and Aija Saari from the Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities.



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