Sports are important for all children, including those with FOP. It teaches teamwork, coordination, rule following, accepting constructive criticism, good exercise regimen for long-term health, and sportsmanship.
Unfortunately, sports also include risks: risks of failure, defeat, embarrassment, teasing, bullying, isolation and injury. For most of these, the risks are no different to any other child… but for FOP kids injury can cause major problems.
Some sports are clearly riskier than others, and each situation needs to be evaluated on its own but the benefits of team sports cannot be underestimated.
Sports are an important part of childhood, and while children may have to give up some things because of FOP, they do not have to give up everything. The decision of what to allow and when is not easy, and will be very different for each child but the opportunity to foster happy childhood memories should be a priority.
There are many organisations offering activities that are modified to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities so every child can enjoy their youth.
Playground finder covers most playgrounds in Australia and disability friendly spots can be found with the advanced search option.
The Liberty Swing is a world-first Australian innovation that allows children in wheelchairs the opportunity to experience the joy of having a swing in the park. The Liberty Swing can only be utilised with the MLAK key. Details on how to eligibility for the key and a directory for playgrounds with the Liberty Swing can be found here.
Several states have information online about outdoor areas with appropriate equipment:
Nican provides an information service regarding sport, recreation, tourism and arts for people with disabilities.
Sports Connect supports people with a disability by providing sport, recreation, fitness and rehabilitation. Programs are delivered by staff and experienced volunteers. Links are also offered to members with other sport and healthy activity providers who are committed to including people with a disability.
Financial assistance may be available to support involvement in sporting activities in your state or territory.
Riding for the Disabled Association is a voluntary, non-profit organisation which provides opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe, health, stimulated, therapeutic, horse-related activities in Australia.