G1 - Why synchronized swimming should be a Paralympic sport

Camila B. LazzariniChair: Camila Brandão Lazzarini (BRA) - Physiotherapist, UNICID, São Paulo, Brazil. Camila is a former Synchronized Swimming athlete, was a member of Brazil’s National Team for several years and has more than 20 years of experience with Synchronized Swimming. As a volunteer, Camila worked with Paralympic Swimming and recently, became a classifier of Paralympic Swimming, certified by Brazilian Paralympic Committee – CPB. Combining all the expertise in Synchronized Swimming and her passion for physical therapy, was one of the founders of Synchronized Swimming for athletes with disability (AWD) in Brazil and is the chief manager of Inspara, a national non-profit organization that creates opportunity for people with disabilities to practice synchronized swimming in Brazil.

Abstract

The recent development, acceptance and success of Synchronized Swimming for Athletes with a variety of disabilities in specific countries and the growth of it as a 'spectator' sport amongst the disabled and non disabled populations, lends credibility for the eligibility and the inclusion of Synchronized Swimming as a Paralympic Sport.
Last year occurred the 1st International Synchronized Swimming Symposium for Athletes With Disabilities (AWD), involving seven countries to share the knowledge and experiences and to start building up the rules of Synchronized Swimming for AWD, a fundamental step towards the recognition of it as an official sport.
This coming September, Brazil will host the 2nd International Synchronized Swimming Symposium for AWD and we expect to gather at least one representative of the thirteen countries that have developed synchronized swimming for AWD until now. Our main goal is to spread worldwide the diversity that Synchronized Swimming offers, to share knowledge of a new sport for people with disabilities based on scientific evidence and multi- disciplinary discussions.
Our speakers have a huge experience with synchronized swimming for AWD. The first presentation by Tina Boales (USA) will provide the context of the global initiative and engagement of AWD Synchronized Swimming. The second presentation by Katherine Ambos (CAN) will cover competitive AWD program in Canada, goal oriented coaching using the star program and Long term athlete development program for athletes in both the cognitive and physical categories of AWD. The third speaker, Paloma Torres (MEX) will present this qualitative research that shows the progress at the level of higher cognitive functions such as: concentration, attention and memory, as well as better communication at interpersonal relations between people with Down Syndrome and people without disabilities, through the practice of synchronized swimming. The session will be moderated by Camila Lazzarini (BRA), physiotherapist and chief manager of Inspara, the first non-profit organization for AWD Synchronized Swimming in Brazil.

Speakers:

Camila B. Lazzarini1. Camila Brandão Lazzarini (BRA) - Physiotherapist, UNICID, São Paulo, Brazil. Camila is a former Synchronized Swimming athlete, was a member of Brazil’s National Team for several years and has more than 20 years of experience with Synchronized Swimming. As a volunteer, Camila worked with Paralympic Swimming and recently, became a classifier of Paralympic Swimming, certified by Brazilian Paralympic Committee – CPB. Combining all the expertise in Synchronized Swimming and her passion for physical therapy, was one of the founders of Synchronized Swimming for athletes with disability (AWD) in Brazil and is the chief manager of Inspara, a national non-profit organization that creates opportunity for people with disabilities to practice synchronized swimming in Brazil.

Title Presentation: 

Tina Boales2. Tina Boales (USA) - Bachelor degree from San Jose State University. Communications with an associate degree in administration of justice. Retired from a career of 27 years in law enforcement which included advocacy for victims and change in laws. Her sports background includes speed swimming, track &field, roller hockey. She coached roller hockey for 5years and synchronized swimming for 3years. She has judged novice/intermediate synchro competitions and currently is a coach for synchro athletes with disabilities on a new synchronized swim team she developed primarily for disabled youth which is the first of its kind in the United States. She is Co-founder and President of the nonprofit advocacy group, "Synchronized Swimming for Athletes with Disabilities, USA".

Title Presentation: Global initiative and engagement of Athletes with Disabilities in Synchronized Swimming

Katherine Ambos3. Katherine Ambos (CAN) - Master of Science in Education at Medaille College, Buffalo, New York, USA. Katherine is a special education teacher in Toronto, Canada and has worked with the special needs population both in the community and in schools for close to 20 years. She is passionate about inclusive and adaptive sports and activities and has a background in coaching swimming, synchronized swimming and rugby. Most recently, Katherine has coached the AWD cognitive category in synchronized swimming and helped to develop one of the top AWD training programs in Canada, located at Variety Village.

Title Presentation: Long Term Athlete Development

Paloma Torres4. Paloma Torres (MEX) - Psychologist, Gestalt Institute and Mexico Autonomy University and master degree in Education, Jaen University, Spain. Paloma is a former synchronized swimming athlete and has a long experience in coaching down syndrome athletes in synchronized swimming. In 2009 she founded the first team of synchronized swimming for Down Syndrome athletes in Mexico, Sirenas Especiales, wich is the first official synchro team in Latin America and have collected now 4 world medals in the Down Syndrome International Swimming Organization Championship including one Gold medal. Paloma is also publishing a childish history about Sirenas Especiales team and their overcoming history.

Title Presentation: Synchronized Swimming for people with Down Syndrome: Benefits in higher cognitive processes and interpersonal relationships