Physios are being asked to improve the health of people with a learning disability and help to ensure a major sporting games goes smoothly at the same time.
A physio checks an athlete’s flexibility as part of the Special Olympics FUNfitness scheme
This summer’s Special Olympics GB National Games, to be held in Sheffield in August, will see 2,500 athletes with learning disabilities compete in more than 20 sports from athletics to ten pin bowling.
And at this games every competitor will be screened by a large team of healthcare professionals including dentists, audiologists, podiatrists, and optometrists, as well as physiotherapists.
The aim is to improve the long-term care of people with intellectual disabilities who often miss out on the treatment they need.
Physios will use the Special Olympic’s FUNfitness programme to screen athletes’ flexibility, functional strength, balance, and aerobic fitness, and to give advice on how to improve these areas where needed.
The screening system will then refer on athletes to their local health services if required.
Alistair Beverley, clinical director for FUNfitness Special Olympics Great Britain, said the screening tests were straightforward to perform. Volunteer applications are welcome from physios, physiotherapy assistants, and physio students.
The games are also looking for volunteer physios with sports experience to treat injuries at pitchside and in the athletes’ village.
Mr Beverley said: ‘What if you could help people who suffer needlessly from chronic pain and disease, blindness and hearing loss, shortened life span, and other health conditions?
‘By volunteering to be part of the Special Olympics summer games this summer you can do just that’.
Anyone wanting to volunteer can get more information, and register, here http://www.registration-sheffield2017.org.uk/.
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