Scientists will help wheelchair athletes to improve training methods

Employees of the Department of Sport and Health Tourism, Sports Physiology and Medicine, Faculty of Physical Education and the boccia (a competitive sport in the Paralympic Games) team of the Tomsk Region are starting to implement a joint project to study the characteristics of the muscles of the hand involved for wheelchair athletes at the time of the throw. The scientists plan to use the data obtained to develop a new methodology for the training process.

- The athletes with whom we will work have only working hands or one hand, - says Anastasia Kabachkova, an assistant professor at the Faculty of Physical Education. - Despite this, people have a fairly high level of physical activity. In the course of laboratory studies, we will monitor the mechanism of work and blood circulation of the muscles of the active arm at the time of the throw and compare them with the processes that occur in the nonworking limb.

TSU scientists have the hypothesis that regular training can cause positive changes in the hand that does not yet work. If this is correct, then they can create a cycle of exercises that will activate the functions of the disabled limb. This is important both for wheelchair users and for the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy, for which boccia is the only available kind of adaptive sport.

In the joint project, scientists will track several macrocycles of training and assess the dynamics of each participant. In addition to physical condition, researchers are also interested in the possibility of developing cognitive functions of athletes, since boccia is a game whose outcome largely depends on the ability to solve logical problems. Scientists will select a special mental load for the participants of the tests and analyze how their status changes.

- The joint project of the Center for Adaptive Sports of Tomsk Region, the Charity Fund “Ordinary Miracle”, and TSU will provide us with scientific support for training, - says Oleg Sharepa, coach of the boccia sports team of the Tomsk Region. - This year the team made its debut at the Cup of Russia, where it showed a good result, but in order to improve it and reach the international level, the correct selection of loads is necessary. Scientists will help us understand what exercises and how much of them each athlete needs in order to use their potential as efficiently as possible.