Here's some tips to help you and your teams
If you have questions not answered below, feel free to get in touch!
Be open minded
and encourage that in your athletes too. The athletes you have will quickly get a good idea of what they need to do to adapt stunts and what things work best for their bodies, Listen to and converse with your athletes, and prepare to be amazed by what you can come up with together.
Find athletes with impairments
For ICU Worlds Unified divisions 25% is the minimum inclusion of athletes with some form of impairment for participation in the though more is encouraged of course. It equates to at least one disabled athlete per stunt group, given groups of four. in more regional competitions only 1 disabled athlete is needed to participate. You can find people with impairments through local groups, inclusive sports organisations, Doctors referrals etc
Use your squad members
For many adaptations another squad member is needed to assist,we have a role for this, we call it Base Assist and the assist and the disabled base can move together throughout the routine.
Take regular breaks
many disabilities bring with them hidden difficulties like pain and fatigue. These are just as important to take care of as the fact a person is visually impaired, or uses a wheelchair, and can be much more impairing. Take breaks and keep an eye on how you're pushing your athletes, change things up, work half the group at a time maybe and remember quality over quantity with reps and
Plan your adaptations
If you know an athlete will need to adapt a stunt, work out how you could suggest they adapt the stunt before you get to the session. You're allowed to be wrong and find new ways whilst working with the athlete at the session but if you have some ideas before you arrive it'll save time and avoid that time being taken up during sessions.
Highlight your adaptations
some of the joy of inclusive cheerleading is the opportunity to be inventive and creative with how you adapt traditional stunts. Don't be afraid to have your adapted stunts, jumps or tumbling front and centre, all athletes are working just as hard as each other and deserve to be showcased, this is also reflected in how the score sheet is built.
Adaptations aren't just for disabled athletes
Many times adaptations need to be done by the athletes with the impairment but sometimes it's easier if an adaptation is made by others on team to work within the restrictions a disability brings. It's not always about changing what the disabled athlete does but sometimes about how everyone else moves or reacts around them that will make the difference.
Stay in touch
Keep track of our Facebook, Twitter and Website feeds. Information on adaptations, workshops and more tips will periodically be posted, also feel free to Contact Us if you find yourself stuck, we have facilities in place that can help