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PSU Students Learn Paralympic Sport for Therapeutic Recreation - KOAM TV 7

PSU Students Learn Paralympic Sport for Therapeutic Recreation

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

Students at Pittsburg State University who are studying therapeutic recreation got a hands-on lesson today in a sport called "goalball."
     It's a game for the blind or those with limited sight. And is played in the Paralympics.


Hector Arrebota felt the tape on the floor to find his position for a penalty shot. And then dove to prevent a score. He was blindfolded and couldnt see the ball but heard it.


Arrebota said, "It was lots of fun. It was intense."

Junior Jack Mercer added, "You
ve got to rely on your touch. Obviously youre hearing for the ball and your teammates who slam the ground to get the attention of teammates and try to figure out positioning and all."

Goalball is a Paralympic sport designed for those who are blind or with limited vision. But not limited ability. PSU therapeutic recreation students got pregame drills from Jim Debus, a blind advocate and athlete who plays the sport.


Signaling teammates with claps, they practiced before the game. Learning how to hear and catch the bell filled ball.  Then they played for real.  

Arrebota said,
I realized that it takes a lot of communication and teamwork to actually play the game. It cant be just one."

Mercer agreed, "It
s definitely tough. Its kind of humbling knowing people who actually have a blind disability  are actually able to succeed in  something like this, cause it was tough."

Goalball was invented in 1946 to help with the rehabilitation of world war two veterans. The students hope to use it in similar ways working in Veterans Affairs programs, community wellness programs, parks and recreation programs and any that offer adaptive recreation and sports.

 
Michaela Allen said, "I want to open up an adaptive rock climbing gym so this is definitely something that could come in handy.  Just seeing how people with vision impairment can use other senses to do sports and to just be able bodied."

Jim Debus echoed that thought. He said, "I
ve never has 2020 vision so in that case I dont know what Im missing. You know, so it really is one of those things you talk about adaptive sports. Sometimes you dont need to necessarily play with the rules that are set forth I think things can be modified so as many people can play as possible."
     The US Paralympic goalball men's team took home silver medals this year. The women, bronze.

 

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