National para sport program: PROBRASIL
National para sport program: PROBRASIL
A national para sport program in Brazil – PROBRASIL – promotes sport and leisure activities for people with disabilities in Brazil. This is a collaborative network, aimed at building a healthier lifestyle for people with disabilities.
Disability has always been a difficult topic to bring up in society. Accepting the different and working with diversity is a deeper issue – it is not related to the person with some type of disability (sensory, cognitive, physical, functional and syndromes), but in the way normality is conceived, based on aesthetic and productive standards.
Thus, we need to reinforce that there are no disabled people, but people with specific characteristics. We need to cultivate a more humane society based on welcoming and respecting the different and the difference, which is still under construction.
It is estimated that 7% of the Brazilian population has some kind of disability (15 million people). Developing public policies that encourage the development of people with disabilities is essential for the integration of this portion of the population in mainstream society.
Separated, neither the state, nor the private sector, nor civil society have the capacity to solve the problems posed to Brazilian society. It is, therefore, necessary to imagine a set of institutional arrangements that combine the potential and efforts of different public and private actors around common objectives.
The National Secretariat for Parasport (NSP) has the mission of preparing proposals to compose the National Sport Plan, together with the Special Sport Secretariat, as well as proposing instruments for the articulation of policies, programs and parasports projects with the educational, leisure, social inclusion and high-performance policies and programs of the Federative Republic of Brazil.
It is necessary to give more opportunity for people with disabilities to occupy positions of representation and that can influence the transformation of society. NSP aims to increase the access of people with disabilities to sports in all its manifestations: from initiation to high performance; in all age groups and for the various disabilities that are currently not included in any federal government program.
Thus, the generation of public value is directly associated with an impact on society, in which programs and projects, by promoting sports practice for people with disabilities, also promote inclusion, education and socialization. Individuals with disabilities tend to remain sedentary throughout their lives, and they end up developing morbidities such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
In this sense, promoting sports activities for this population provides not only a more participative citizen in society, it provides them with physical, psychological and social well-being, while also allowing for the rehabilitation and inclusion of these individuals in society.
The national para sport program – PROBRASIL – promotes sport and leisure activities for people with disabilities in Brazil. This is a collaborative network, aimed at building a healthier lifestyle for people with disabilities. The program presents a model for the development of parasports spread across the five regions of Brazil.
PROBRASIL presents a format that includes children and youth in activities during the school shift (i.e., if a student studies in the morning, they participate in the activities in the afternoon; if the student studies in the afternoon, they participate in the activities in the morning).
The activities take place two to three times a week. The structuring axis of the program is centered on the qualification of human resources in sports and pedagogical activities, without distinction of sex, age and type of disability. The practice of sports and leisure activities through individual, collective and motor skills allow the improvement of students’ health.
By building this collaborative guidance network, it will be possible to map the disability, know the reality in peripheral areas, qualify human resources for care, establish partnerships with Universities Institutions (UI), and implement, monitor and improve the development of students and families involved with the program.
As areas of attention, we point out the partnership with the UI’s mainly in relation to the promotion of research activities, as a way to structure data that can be compiled for the production of guidance booklets and material for the implementation of more assertive public policies. As priority actions, PROBRASIL has three pillars:
- Qualification: development centers and training of human resources
- Orientation: potentialities associated with motor skills and the experience of physical, sports and leisure activities
- Monitoring: monitoring the development of students and building strategies appropriate to the real needs of students
In this moment of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to encourage the construction of collaborative networks that can exchange experiences. It is possible to form partnerships so that, together, we can combat the social invisibility of people with disabilities.
We hope that our initiative will serve as an incentive for more people to really have something to celebrate on this International Day of People with Disabilities.
Erinaldo Chagas is part of the National Secretariat of Parasport, Ministry of Citizenship, Brazil.
Marcelo de Castro Haiachi is part of the Univeristy of Sergipe’s Physical Education Department, and on the Research Group on Olympic and Paralympic Studies.
Ailton Fernando Santana de Oliveira is part of the University of Sergipe’s Physical Education Department and the Research Centre on Public Policies on Physical Education, Leisure and Adapted Sports.
Claudio Diehl Nogueira is part of Castelo Branco University’s Physical Education Department and is also a Brazilian Paralympic Academy member.
[This article has been edited by the Operating Team.]