Soccer the key to helping those with cerebral palsy

Soccer the key to helping those with cerebral palsy

Dr Fadi Maayah (centre) with dignitaries in Jordan.

Innovative research showing how the health of people with cerebral palsy improves through playing soccer is being spread globally by a knowledge-sharing trip.

Curtin University’s School of Exercise and Health Sciences Dr Fadi Maayah has returned from a successful visit to Jordan where he spoke about his research with academics and students at Hashemite University and held workshops with Olympic athletes and coaches.

Dr Maayah said the goal of the trip was to establish collaboration and promote soccer participation for people living with cerebral palsy.

“As a result of the visit, Curtin will now be extending its global ties by hosting two Jordanian researchers in the sport sciences field,” he said.

“I am also hoping to work with these new networks in the future to conduct some research-based activities with cerebral palsy sufferers in Jordan.

“I am very passionate about supporting and helping people with cerebral palsy and am also very proud to coach the Gold Fields State Para Team (WA) who play in the National CP Football Championships organised by the Football Federation Australia.”

Dr Maayah’s research which was based on participants of the WA Cerebral Palsy Foundation (WACPF) found playing soccer can lead to improvements in a range of health outcomes for people with CP.

Some of these include lowerlimb strength, flexibility, stamina, body composition, walking and running ability and self-esteem.

Funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade CAAR supports projects that enhance Australia’s economic, cultural and social relations with the Arab world.