In these days, European Football Championship is everywhere, then I cannot avoid talking about the importance of sports, not only as hobbies and ways to stay in good shape, but also as moments to socialize, both as spectators and as main characters!
It’s absolutely untrue, indeed, that practicing a sport (even at a competitive level) is just for “able-bodied” people (we’d have a lot to discuss about the “normality” and “ability” concepts, by the way). Institutions and federations organizing championships and sport events dedicated to physically or mentally disabled people have been a reality for years, today. And those events have as much dignity and sport value as the others, to the extent that, since 1960, in the same year as the Olympic Games, the Paralympic ones take place.
Sports such as basketball, tennis, fencing aren’t “impossible” at all for people with a motoric deficit, for instance. Similarly, athletics, running, swimming aren’t precluded to people with sensory disabilities. You simply need to use the appropriate expediments, for instance using ad adapted wheelchair suitable for sport practice or being assisted by a “guide” inside the swimming pool or on the track.
How to start practicing a sport “seriously”? The typical advices for everyone are valid for disabled people as well: before starting, undergo accurate medical checks and, of course, consult your trusted doctors specialised in your disease to evaluate together the most suitable sport.
Have you ever watched a wheelchair basketball match or admired the great Beatrice “Bebe” Vio in action on the fencing platform? If your answer is “yes”, you’d realize that, as regards competitiveness, talent and emotions, disabled sports are as good as the “able” versions.
If, on the contrary, you’re incurably lazy and prefer watching sports, even “live”, you’d probably already know that the most popular sports federations (from football to basketball, from volleyball to tennis, just to mention some examples) always include, inside the plants, a quote of seats (or areas, according to the size of the plants) reserved to disabled people and their companions. In the majority of cases, the entrance is totally free: you just have to send well in advance the RAD (Accreditation Request for Disabled people) form, downloadable from the website of the sport society playing at home and any other requested document (e.g. invalidity certificate and, sometimes, identity card) to the organizing company to enjoy the show without any other worry apart supporting your team!