gms | German Medical Science

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Annual Assembly of the German and the Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Austrian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

26.-29.10.2011, Salzburg, Austria

High motivation for blind children to practice swimming activities authors

Meeting Abstract

7th EFSMA – European Congress of Sports Medicine, 3rd Central European Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Salzburg, 26.-29.10.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11esm129

doi: 10.3205/11esm129, urn:nbn:de:0183-11esm1298

Published: October 24, 2011

© 2011 Almajan-Guta et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: The general aims are to promote independence, enjoyment, safety and to enhance the basic motor skills in water and swimming styles. It is important to be socially accepted, but also to promote general well-being, enjoyment and socialization.

Material/Methods: This study was conducted in the University Politehnica Timisoara in 2009–2010, and the study lot was represented by a number of 10 children, aged between 4 years and 8 years with premature retinopatia. All the results were measured with the Swimmig Scale for Persons with Visual Impairments witch include: The basic motor skills in water and swimming styles (total immersion, swimming with aids, dog paddle, crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, snorkeling), resistance (25 m with aids, 25 m without aids free style, 50 m with aids, 50 m without aids free style), maintaining positions in water (floating in supine position, floating in prone position, floating in one side position, equilibrium vertical position), basic swimming behavior (walk, jumping in the water, running, diving), psychomotricity (breathing – legs coordination, breathing – hand coordination, breathing – hands – legs coordination), spatial orientation and mobility in swimming-pool area (recognizing the teacher’s voice, directions, mobility and routs: locker room-toilet-swimming pool).

Results: Inittialy the children were uncomfortable in water, because of the lack of experience. The initial results – very low shows us the fact that swimming and water activities are new things. After experimentation they showed us that their skills are like the skills of children without visual impairement and they can learn fast to swim. The Breaststroke swimming style: Beginners usually use the breaststroke swimming style because it is easy. With the head out of the water the blind person can orientate easily. This way, kids never skip a breath. The bras swimming style strengthens the muscles that help you keep your posture, avoiding eventual back problems, common in children with visual impairments. The Crawl swimming style: It needs a minimum of training and endurance to practice it correctly. But the crawl swimming style consumes a whole lot of energy and puts o minimum strain on your body. This swimming style is recommended to everyone. Kids like this style because it’s fast. They have problems in maintaining the straight position. Backstroke swimming style: This is the recommended swimming style for blinds avoiding back problems like kyphosis. Breathing is very easy because the mouth and nose are always out of water. The leg movement is similar to the crawl swimming style. There isn’t any strain put on the back and all the muscles needed to achieve a good posture are worked and strengthened. The backstroke swimming style is good to work your arm, chest and abdominal muscles. With the ears in the water the orientation is very difficult to realize. The final results shows the fact that all the parameters increased with significant statistic difference (p<0,05) after the swimming program: spatial orientation and mobility in swimming-pool area, psychomotricity, basic swimming behavior, maintaining positions in the water, resistance, the basic motor skills and swimming styles.

Conclusion: Water provides an effective learning environment for a child with vision impairment. The persons with visual impairment become totally dependent on the sound for orientation. In an echo filled tile indoor enclosure, this is really hard. When the orientation problem has been solved, swimming becomes an excellent experience for those children. Swimming gives a real sense of freedom. In the pool you can assume many different body positions while moving through the water which feels wonderful, is good for both mind and body. The sense of touch is developed not only in the fingers like usually, but also all over.

Funding aknowledgement: The production of this study was financially supported with the help of the study grant CNCSIS RO, TE/cod 36.


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