Congratulations to Special Olympics Romania on the completion of their Young
Athletes (YA) programme research study. Funding from the Samuel Family
Foundation supported the project which was carried out in collaboration with
the National University Of Physical Education and Sports in Bucharest.
Young Athletes & Family coordinator Roxana Ossian along with professor
Aura Bota from the University attended a seminar in Washington DC in October
2012 which focussed on research and evaluation of the Young Athletes
Initial evaluation took place at the university in early
February involving 32 children aged 2-7. The level of YA abilities were
recorded, to be compared with results at the end of the project. Teachers,
students, physical educations teachers, psychologists and parents were all
involved in the study. The specific YA training took place over three and a
half months in four different regions in Romania. A special focus was made on
the importance of regular attendance at the training sessions.
Presentations about the Young Athletes and Family Support Network programmes
were given to parents of the Young Athletes. They received detailed information
on how to organise YA trainings and how to use the equipment at home. They
were also shown how to adapt the exercises from the lesson plans according to
the level of the children’s abilities.
Final evaluation was carried
out at the university in early June. The children involved in the study had
shown a significant increase in motor and cognitive development compared to
the initial testing in February. Test results were gathered and submitted to
the University Of Boston, Massachusetts where they will be combined with
results from our other regions. Detailed results and evaluation will be
published next year.