Course:KIN366/ConceptLibrary/Inclusive Snow Sports

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Movement Experiences for Children
KIN 366
Instructor: Dr. Shannon S.D. Bredin
Office Hours:
Class Schedule:
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

What is inclusive Sport?

Inclusive sport is a term used for sport that allows for people to participate without discrimination because of their disabilities. It is an inclusive environment where people of all ages can join and enjoy sports without worry of their disability. These programs are getting much more attention in the later years as new technology has been helping people deal with disabilities. Much more awareness of the importance of physical activity and sport for disabled people is also a big factor with the rise of inclusive sport programs. Some programs will even allow participation of people who are not disabled. Disabilities can range from limb amputation, chronic diseases such as cerebral palsy, Lou Gehrig disease, and Autism.

Effects of Physical Activity for Disabled Children

Physical activity is an incredibly important part of having a healthy lifestyle. Several studies have shown that physical activity has numerous health benefits such as a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension (Durstine et al., 2000). The problem is that people with disabilities such as missing limbs don’t have as much access to physical activity as others. This creates problems because these children are the ones that need it most. Many disabled people are bed rested, which therefore may lead to having a lower quality of life and puts them at a higher risk for osteoporosis, impaired circulation (may eventually lead to blood clots), diminished self-confidence, depression, anxiety and reduced social interactions (Durstine et al., 2000).People perceive them differently in society and this causes extra problems for people with disabilities. They are stigmatized because their bodies do not match the norms of society (Taub, Blinde, & Greer, 1999). When a physical disability is a defined feature, other people (especially children) focus on the disability instead of their personal characteristics (Taub et al., 1999). With all the influences from the media and society promoting beauty and perfection, disabilities stand out and do not fit the “social norm” (Taub et al., 1999). Research by Taub (1999) shows that the interviewed participants who had disabilities stated that the participation experience was more important than the intensity or type of physical activity they were doing. Participation in activity allowed them to invert the stigmatization of disability and show their physical competence. Physical activity appears to improve health related quality of life by enhancing psychological well-being (Durstine et al., 2000). It also relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves mood (Durstine et al., 1999). Involvement in sports can help ones bodily competence, improving the children’s confidence (Taub et al., 1999). Having a wide range of physical activity is also good as it keeps things fun and unpredictable. Some snow sports such as skiing, snowboarding or curling are not as popular as other sports, so it is nice to have these new types of physical activities for children.



There are a few ways of skiing for people with disabilities. For example, people with missing limbs or muscle atrophy may use the sit ski to go skiing and enjoy the outdoors. People with only one missing limb can ski on their own, but with specific equipment to assist them. Also, people who are blind can ski with a teacher or use the sit ski. This equipment can be used on the chairlifts at every mountain. The equipment is an essential part for allowing people to go skiing and be outdoors in the mountains.


Sit ski

The sit ski is used for people who are blind or are impaired from the waist down. There are different versions of the sit ski where you can either control the sit ski by yourself, or have an instructor controlling the sit ski. It is a sled which has a ski on the bottom of the base to allow you to manoeuvre the sled. There are several different types of sleds such as mono or bi ski; this means that there are either one or two skis that control the sled. For people who are controlling the sled by themselves, they also have poles with ski blades at the end (also called outriggers). This is used to help with stability, balance, and engaging turns. There are also tandem sleds in which the instructor controlling the sled is also clipped into the skis on the sled. As well as sleds that allow the instructor to have his/her own pair of skis.

Stand ski

This is the same concept as sit ski except you are standing. This is for people with one missing limb. People who partake in this type of skiing ski on one leg. They also have two poles (outriggers) that have small ski blades at the end of the pole to help them engage their turns and to help with stability.

Sledge Hockey

The rules for sledge hockey are the same as hockey. The difference is the added equipment to make it inclusive for disabled people. Sledge Hockey is a very popular Paralympic sport with an increasing amount of people joining. There are several organizations with organized hockey leagues.


Sledge hockey has a similar concept to the sit ski where the participant sits in a specialized sled. The sled has a blade on the bottom to allow for movement on the ice. This is used for people who are disabled from the waist down. The sticks they use have hockey blade on one side and a metal pick on the end. This pick is used to propel and manoeuvre the sled, which is why the players hold two sticks. There is a false conception that you must be disabled to partake in Sledge Hockey. Many non-disabled people play it as well, which allows for inclusive sport.

Wheelchair Curling

The rules for wheelchair curling are similar to curling with a few adjustments. For example, the person throwing the stone has to be stationary as they throw it. There also is no sweeping, which makes it much harder for athletes as they have to be much more accurate when they throw. Wheelchair curling is for people with impairments in lower leg/gait function, who usually require a wheelchair for daily mobility (i.e. spinal injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or double leg amputation). Retrieved from (


The equipment used for wheelchair curling is the same as curling, just with the addition of a wheelchair.

Types of Organizations/Programs that are Involved with Inclusive Snow Sports

Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports

Vancouver Adaptive Snow sports (VASS) is an organization in Vancouver that runs programs for people to ski and snowboard who have disabilities. They have specialized equipment to allow everyone to experience the mountain. They offer several programs for beginners to advanced, these include sit skiing stand up skiing, snowboarding, and advanced adaptive ski racing (Retrieved from[1]). This allows for the choice to partake in skiing/snowboarding competitively or recreationally.

Hockey Canada

Hockey Canada is the main organization for Sledge Hockey programs. It promotes and allows accessibility to sledge hockey all over Canada. They welcome all levels of skill from beginners to intermediate and elite levels. Hockey Canada has many contacts and resources that can help find a Sledge Hockey program in your city. There are several smaller programs such as Sportability BC that are similar to Hockey Canada in which they help find certain sports and leisure centers that accommodate Sledge hockey. There are several programs for sledge hockey as it is quite a popular Paralympic sport. Most programs also allow renting of equipment for people who want to try it so it is very inclusive. (Retrieved from [2] and [3])

Curl BC

Curl Bc is an organization for curling programs as well as Wheelchair curling. This organization makes it easier for people to have accessibility to play or try wheelchair curling. There are clinics for people who are starting and want to get into wheelchair curling. There are more programs for wheelchair curling such as Canadian Paralympic Committee, Canadian Curling Association, and World Curling Federation. (Retrieved from [4])


Durstine, J. L., Painter, P., Franklin, B. A., Morgan, D., Pitetti, K. H., & Roberts, S. O. (2000). Physical activity for the chronically ill and disabled.Sports Medicine, 30(3), 207-219.

Janssen, I., & LeBlanc, A. G. (2010). Review Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth.International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7(40), 1-16.

Murphy, N. M., Carbone, P. C. (2008). Promoting the Participation of Children With Disabilities in Sports, Recreation, and Physical Activities. Pediatrics, 121, 1057.

Neufeldt, A. N., Mathieson, R. M. (1995). Empirical Dimensions of Discrimination Against Disabled People. Health and Human Rights, Vol. 1, No. 2, 174-189.

Richardson, M. R. (1997). Addressing barriers: disabled rights and the implications for nursing of the social construct of disability. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25, 1269-1275.

Shaeffer, C. S., Gibson, H. G., Autry, C. A., Hanson, C. H. (2001). Meaning of Sport to Adults with Physical Disabilities: A Disability Sport Camp Experience. Sociology of Sport Journal, 18, 95-114.

Taub, D. T., Blinde, E. B., Greer, K. G. (1999). Stigma Management Through Participation In Sport and Physical Activity: Experiences of Male College Students with Physical Disabilities. Human Relations, 52, 1469.

Thomas, C. T. (2004). How is disability understood? An examination of sociological approaches. Disability & Society, Vol. 19, No 6, 570-583.

Wrotniak, B. W., Epstein, L. E., Dorn, J. D., Jones, K. J., Kondilis, V. K. (2006). The Relationship Between Motor Proficiency and Physical Activity in Children. Pediatrics, 118, 1758.