Adaptive sport promotion is of principal importance to Gasol Foundation, and in turn, is at the heart of many of the social and educational activities organized by the institution.
All sports are excellent for teaching the basic sport values of hard work, commitment, consistency, and sacrifice, however these values are especially inherent to the practice of adaptive sports. For this reason, the PPGA, Pau Gasol Academy (hosted this year during the first week of July in Barcelona), made certain to provide a comprehensive understanding of adaptive sports to the over 120 boys and girls who participated, via lectures and practical workshops made possible thanks to the support of the Catalan Foundation for Disabled Sports (FCEDF).
In order to raise awareness, sessions were organized for young people during which they were able to try out different types of adaptive sports, such as basketball, boccia and volleyball, all while sitting in a wheelchair. This way, children at the PPGA were not only able to discover new ways of doing physical activity, but also came to value the effort and merit of differently-abled athletes.
“When you sit in a wheelchair to play basketball for the first time, it’s a very strange sensation. You start moving your arms and try to figure out how the wheelchair works in order to get it moving, all while attempting to play the game! At the beginning I missed all my shots, they didn’t even touch the rim, I messed up turning… I was so focused on trying to navigate the wheelchair that I almost forgot to play defense. I loved the experience, but after having tried it, I am sure it´s one of the most complicated things in the world. How do people do it?”, asked David, a ten-year-old participant, after having played a game of basketball in a wheelchair. David continued that he enjoyed the experience even more than playing daily basketball games with his friends.
At Gasol Foundation, we believe in a comprehensive training for athletes and by experiencing first hand something so different than what one is accustomed to, we are sure that we are able to greatly enrich the values and broaden the horizons of our participants.