According the Programme for Work 2012, the Republic Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA, in the period from 2nd to 6th of July and from 1st to 5th of October 2012 organised and conducted two sports and recreational activities for the beneficiaries of the day centers of the Republic Centre – PORAKA.
As a result of the positive effects from conducting the sports and recreational activities in the past years, the Republic Center for Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA has foreseen organization and realization of two of this type of activities in its 2012 Programme for Work.
The main goal of these sports and recreational activities is promotion a new form of inclusion of adolescents with intellectual disability in the society through sports and recreation contributing in the development of the independent living skills for these persons. Also, these activities offer opportunities for improvement of the psychophysical condition of the adolescents with intellectual disability.
The first sports and recreational activities in 2008 were held in Struga, in the Center for Education of the Red Cross “Solferino”, in the period from 2nd to 6th of July, and the second ones were held at the same location 1st to 5th of October 2012.
The sports and recreational activities included persons with intellectual disability, beneficiaries of the day centers managed by PORAKA in Skopje and Radovis. The conduction of these activities included leaders of the teams (personnel from the day centers) and professionals from PORAKA.
The sports and recreational activities provide number of different opportunities: development of the sense of and spirit for competition amongst the adolescents with intellectual disability; the experience of being a part of a sports team and to feel the unity in the team; motivation for competition and victory, but at the same time to experience and cope with being defeated in sport games.
On the other hand, these activities represent opportunities for the personnel of the day centers to be 24 hours together with the beneficiaries of the day centers, allowing them to understand the rhythm of life and behaviour of each person with intellectual disability. Furthermore, the observation of the beneficiaries in a new environment, without parental influence, offers the personnel new insights regarding the possible improvements of the independence and self-esteem among the beneficiaries and the unselfish support and friendly behaviour between themselves, which cannot be perceived during the activities in the day center. Thus, these activities also provide opportunities for improvement of the skills for personal hygiene, skills for social interactions etc.
The sports activities were divided in the following disciplines:
- Athletics (competitions in running and jumps in distance),
- Competitions in small football,
- Competitions in basketball;
- Competitions in rope pulling.
The recreational part of the programme included different games, drawing, as well as parties with music and dancing in the evenings. During the afternoons, recreational activities in water were organized on the beach of the Educational Center “Solferino”. For some of the beneficiaries this presented and opportunity to improve their swimming skills, and for the others a positive experience to be on the beach with their peers.
It may be concluded that the goals of the sports and recreational activities were fully realised. The beneficiaries of the day centers were actively included in the sports and recreational contents, and the personnel from the day centers of PORAKA had opportunity to find out important information regarding the behaviour of the beneficiaries outside the day centers, which will be of enormous significance in their further work within the individual work with the beneficiaries and improvement of independent living skills.