ECU and Football West to study benefits of soccer for kids with cerebral palsy

ECU and Football West to study benefits of soccer for kids with cerebral palsy

EDITH Cowan University (ECU) has teamed with Football West to examine how small side soccer could benefit children with cerebral palsy.

The research project will measure the physical, physiological and mental health of the children before and after 12 weeks playing soccer.

ECU’s School of Medical and Health Science researcher Alvin Goh said research on populations with cerebral palsy was limited.

“Cerebral palsy is the most common disability in Australian children,” he said.

“We know that sedentary lifestyles are prevalent in children with cerebral palsy where opportunities for inclusion in physical activities with their peers are limited.

“Lack of physical activity can also lead to a cycle of deconditioning that may further deteriorate the disability.”

Mr Goh said the research team was confident the children taking part would show improvements.

“We have chosen small-side soccer as the sport because there is considerable evidence showing its benefits for the general population,” he said.

Football West participation officer Gordon Duus said the organisation was keen to break down barriers for people with physical disabilities.

Parents of children with cerebral palsy aged between nine and 18 years old can email Mr Goh at a.goh@ecu.edu.au.