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Sports ethics as a catalyst for inclusion in adapted sports

Copyrights: Invictus Viseu

Sports ethics as a catalyst for inclusion in adapted sports

Sport, due to the inherent values that constitute it, is a unique example to the realization of inclusion and a link to the empowerment of people with disabilities. Tadeu Celestino explores the ethical and moral aspect of inclusive sports

Inclusion must be understood as a human right, where its norming and binding are subliminally explained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It advocates the need for everyone to assume and perpetuate the commitment to eliminate the barriers and constraints underlying exclusion in its different forms and manifestations, as well as conveying the right to everyone's participation without exception in society.

Therefore, inclusion is the intentional and unconditional acceptance of the other in his difference and individuality and, simultaneously, feeding a feeling of belonging.

Realizing this perspective, sport, due to the inherent values that constitute it, is a unique example to the realization of inclusion and a link to the empowerment of people with disabilities.

Thus, emerging from a humanist perspective, sport, in its different forms of realization, is configured as a school of values, where the basic principles of human virtue are promoted. Sport itself encourages practitioners and athletes to adopt conducts of tolerance, inclusion, equity, respect, overcoming and honesty in the pursuit of the supreme value of good.

This way, it is up to each one of us, as socializing agents and mentors of others, to assume the promotion and orientation of these values and principles of sports ethics, always aiming to strengthen the inclusion in and through sport of people with disabilities.

State of art

Emerged from a purely rehabilitative purpose, adapted sport gradually evolved into the performance expense paradigm, most visible and effective in the Paralympic Games. Such fact has been one of the few ways in which many people with disabilities can, effectively, affirm their potential and obtain some social recognition and appreciation.

Nevertheless, the axiological deregulation of the current social paradigm has also been manifested in adapted sports. Ethical dilemmas are reflected in acts such as doping practices and the fraudulent processes of eligibility and sports classification. This, in turn, negatively reverberates doubly exclusion: sport exclusion, and consequently, social exclusion.

Therefore, the particularities of adapted sport and the specificity of its practitioners requires, today, and more than ever, of its different agents the need for a strong link to ethical and moral values in adapted sports practices.

New perspectives/guidelines

Reinforcing this perspective, it seems to us that the potential for human formation in sport is only effective if the guidelines for sports training include concrete procedures for an intentional and effective practice of sports morals and ethics over the time of training and education of its agents (athletes, coaches, managers, families).

That way we list two dimensions that we consider to be relevant for the realization of this purpose, aimed at the inclusion and social emancipation of practitioners with disabilities:

1) Ethical sports training - It is important to emphasize that acting ethically in sport, regardless of its context of performance, in a consistent and perpetual manner over time precedes the need for robust and continuous training and education for ethical values and principles of knowing how to be and be in sport and in life.

Thus, when developing activities and training, it should be based on multidimensional perspectives on the development of disabled athletes with an emphasis on their bio-psycho-socio-axiological development.

Further, it is important to be aware that sports training is more than the teaching and training of motor skills, it is, intentionally, including in its structuring the basic principles of ethics and morals in sport and in life.

2) Coach/Teacher with an ethical framework - The coach or teacher of adapted sports, when conducting the training and teaching processes, must express a unique attitude of integrity and commitment to the development of the values of ethics and sports morals.

It is up to them, as the main agent of conducting the training/teaching process, to assume the commitment of multidimensional training of these practitioners with disabilities. It is their double responsibility of transmitting knowledge, techniques and tactics, but also, values, ethics and sporting morals that want to be manifested in and with sports practice and, consequently, in the lives of practitioners.

In this way, the coach/teacher in the advance planning of their training/activity must contemplate all the training factors (physical, technical, tactical, psychological and social) as criteria of success of the applied tasks and must cover, intentionally and directly, the multidimensionality of the disabled practitioner's action.

The potential to be ethical and virtuous, in life and sport, is in each one of us (coaches, athletes, parents), in our behaviors, in our attitudes and in the transformation of our character in favor of the other, aiming at a common good.

Tadeus Celestino is a PhD scholar who works with Invictus Viseu and the Grouping of Nelas Schools. 

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team.]


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Tadeus Celestino


Friday, November 20, 2020 - 11:24

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