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Pilot project: Therapeutic scuba diving for mentally challenged pupils in primary schools with an adaptive program

On Thursday, October 19th, 2017, a pilot project Therapeutic scuba diving for mentally challenged pupils in primary schools with an adaptive program was held at the Zdravilisce Lasko - Thermana.
The aim of the project is to enable primary school students with a customized educational program with less demanding standard, and a special education program for schoolchildren, to become divers and acquire the international qualification of the CMAS (Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques).
Primary School Pod goro of Slovenske Konjice is the first branch school in Slovenia to join this pilot project led by the IAHD Adriatic. The school management has enabled Brane Vodopivec, a sports teacher, and Maja Knez, the teacher of defectology, to be enrolled in a therapeutic diving program. This is the first step towards the realization of a long-term project, which will enable this kind of activity. The project will come to life and it will grow from the education of its own staff and the activities will be carried out within the curriculum, initially only at one of the affiliated schools, and later also in the schools that will join the project.
In the therapeutic pool of the old part of the resort, members of the Swimming Club Slovenske Konjice, working under the auspices of IAHD Adriatic, presented their own method to the pupils of the affiliated elementary school. Using this method, people with disabilities can safely and effectively make their first steps in the water, without gravity and take advantage of all positive effects, provided by the aquatic environment. The IDA method, as the method is called, is the result of a fifteen-year work and development, and as such represents one of the new tools in modern hydrotherapy.
In addition to the IDA method presentation, the inclusion of physically disabled divers in the event was also of great importance. Ales Povse, one of the best divers with disabilities in the world, has practically demonstrated to the children how their diving route can look like, and work. However, without a lot of work and effort, of course, there will be no results worth to mention. Ales was one of the leaders and a demonstrator at the event. With this, he proved that in the training of people with different kind of disabilities, with appropriate assistance, can successfully take over the role of pedagogues, which opens up a field of new options and opportunities in accessible tourism, where, according to the president of the Management Board of Thermana, Mr. Samo Fakin, they would like to take a leading role and set out new guidelines in this area.
Later, all the participants and pupils bravely bobbed under the water surface, using all the devices, the real divers had. In addition, Lasko Health Resort also enabled them to exercise at the most modern water fitness in Slovenia.
Three Students of the second grade of the Gymnasium of Slovenske Konjice, Peter Trdin, Masa Mesicek and Julija Hohler were also included in the activities. Some of their impressions: On Thursday we tried to submerge in Lasko and enjoyed a lot of fun with the pupils, have learned a lot about diving and dealing with children with disabilities. Children were very kind and, regardless that we met them for the first time, we became friends. We also learned to dive and, together with others, received diplomas for our discovery dive. Participating children can be a role model to many, as they have proven that despite their movement impairment they can achieve a lot. We definitely want to repeat the event, and we can hardly wait for the next meeting with the children.
Special thanks for the startup assistance at the pilot project goes to the Lion´s Club of Slovenske Konjice and the Gymnasium of Slovenske Konjice, because without their participation, and support, the journey to Lasko would take much longer and the path to the final destination would be more stressful.

Foto: IAHD Adriatic
TV LASKO, Terapevtsko potapljanje za šolarje z invalidnostjo





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