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                       COMPARATIVE STUDY

Written by: Christina Sypsa
            Panagiotis Panoy
            Agapi Samouilidou

                    LEUVEN 2005
  1. General information about Greece
  2. Introduction
  3. Philosophical thinking about the body, physical activity and attitudes towards
      people with disabilities in Greece
      3.1.1 Human body- Philosophical thinking
      3.1.2 APA in Greece- Philosophical thinking
      3.2 Attitudes towards the Disabled in Greece-Historical review
  4. Organisation of APA in Greece
      4.1 Physical Education in Special Schools and Special Classes
        4.1.1 Structure of Greek Educational System and Special Education
        4.1.2 Adapted Physical Education (APE)
      4.2. Competitive Sport for disabled people
        4.2.1 Development of Competitive Sport in Greece - Historical Review
        4.2.2 Greek legislation for Special Competitive Sport
             Hellenic Paralympic Committee (HPC)
        4.2.3 Structure of Special Competitive Sport in Greece
            Hellenic Disabled Sports Federation (HDSF)
            Hellenic Wheelchair Basketball Federation (HWBF)
            Hellenic Athletic Federation of the Deaf (HAFD)
            Special Olympics
            Renal Patients Athletic Association-SAN
      4.3 Recreational programs for special populations
        4.3.1 Recreation and the program ‘Sports for All’
        4.3.2‘Sports for All’ and special populations
        4.3.3 Organisation and structure of Special Programs
        4.3.4 Concerning the success of Special Programs
        4.3.5 Other recreational programs
    4.4 Rehabilitation for people with disabilities and chronicle diseases
        4.4.1 Public Health Care Centres
        4.4.2 Private Institutes
  5. Academic Training for TPEs
  6. Research in APA in Greece
  7. Suggestions for the development of APA in Greece-Discussion
   1. General information about Greece

       Greece is a small country with a large number of islands located in the
southeast part of Europe and has been a member of the European Union since 1981.
Neighbor countries of Greece are: Bulgaria, Albania, Skopia and Turkey. The capital
city of Greece is Athens, where the Olympic and Paralympic Games were held in
September 2004. Other big cities of the country are Thessaloniki, Patra, Heraklion
and Volos, where some Olympic events took place and as a conclusion they have
been characterized Olympic cities.
       The total area is 131.940 sq Km and the total population almost 12.000.000 of
which almost 10-12% belong to special populations. Depending on recent research
for people with disabilities, 64.2% of them are Men and 35.8% Women. Also 12.8%
of them are Children under 17 years old and 11% from 17 to 24 years old.
       Almost 50% of Greek population lives in Athens and this is why most of the
physical activities including adapted physical activities take place in the capital. As a
result, people living there are in a more privileged position in comparison to those
living in rural areas, but in the last few years there has been a major effort to provide
new centers and services in these areas.

2. Introduction

       A basic diagnostic criterion of development and humaneness of a society is the
way it confronts and simultaneously solves its citizens’ problems and mainly those
with disabilities. Greek society’s sensitization on this matter delayed in relation to
other European countries, especially due to prejudice and stigmatism. Small number
of scientists and therapists working on the field, in addition to Greek State’s delay
interest led disabled people on the margin, whose responsibility lied at that moment
almost completely under the protection of their families.
       The significant contribution of the new model of social cohesion in european
union level, the accession of Greece in European Union and the pressure has been
applied in order to take measures in favor of disabled people, Greek society’s
reformations towards this matter and the successful organization of the Olympic and
Paralympic games of 2004 in Athens led to the swing of the situation of the Disabled.
According to Greek Constitution of 1975 (reformed on 1986/2001), article 21 para. 6
‘disabled people have the right to enjoy measures that guarantee the autonomy,
occupational integration and participation in social, economic and political life of the
country’. As a result of this, a series of legislation concerning the improvement of
disabled people’s life were approved.
       An important parameter of disabled people’s life has proved to be physical
activity either it takes place in schools, in community, in rehabilitation centres or in
elite sport level. During the last years Greek legislation includes measures in relation
to Adapted Physical Activity so as to develop this special issue.

People with disabilities/People with special educational needs: People who have
serious learning difficulty and adaptability due to physical, mental, psychological,
emotional and social characteristics (Law 2817/2000, article 1).
Adapted Physical Activity (APA): It has become an umbrella term for the 90’s and
beyond, it is used world-wide and it encompass areas, such as Physical Education,
Recreation, Dance, Sport, Fitness and Rehabilitation for individuals with impairments
across the lifespan (DePauw and Sherrill, 1994).

3. Philosophical thinking about the body, physical activity and attitudes towards
people with disabilities in Greece

3.1.1 Human body- Philosophical thinking

       According to Sports Philosophy a basic feature of human’s existence and
being is physical hypostasis. Human body is a self-sufficient reality, which is
characterized by the wealth of creative potentials. Not only is it accepted as a body
which is young and healthy, but also as ‘weak’, incomplete, old and mortal. In the
centre of Sports Philosophy there are exercise, life, culture, health, beauty, power and
the brightness of human body which is accepted as something that can be developed
and determine man’s participation in the world. There are boundless adjectives related
to body, such as strong, robust, weak, well-shaped, beautiful, ugly, athletic, etc.,
which reveal boundless perceptions regarding the phenomenon called human body.
‘Owing a body’ means that someone comprehends his body as it is ‘inside’ and
‘outside’, like something that exists in time and in space as a condition of human
existence within the world which is always under construction. Every action or
activity of human body is linked with human existence in total, is not isolated,
unimportant, but in conjunction with the deeper meaning of existence. Therefore,
physical activity, work, competition, power, love, game, sport event are existential
phenomena in the open existential horizon of man. Moreover, the expression ‘athletic
body’ isn’t shown only the morphologic result of athletic effort, but also implying
fatigue and education, silence and motion, health and weakness, youth and old age,
physical boundaries and potentials, ability and deficiency . In sports, human body is
not the mean for physical activity, but it is the beginning (archi), reasoning (logos)
and law (nomos), from which it is originated the architecture of athletic phenomenon.
Finally, human body is defined as the specific body of a man and of all men, which
not only have body but they are free to use it as they wish, they are aware of its
existence and consist with it a factor of continuing renewal and recreation of the
         Particularly, in ancient Greece the body and the spirit were tightly linked
together. The ancient Greeks said ‘healthy mind exists in a healthy body’ and they
meant a trained body. On the contrary, it is noticeable the cruelness and
disparagement that the Spartians (citizens of the Greek city Sparti) showed to people
owned a ‘different’ body, with a disability; they threw the mentally and physically
disabled children into Kaiadas dingle.

3.1.2 APA in Greece- Philosophical thinking

         The development and advancement of disabled sports and the actions and
responsibilities of Greek State have shown that the differences between disabled
athletes and able-bodied athletes are not so crucial. On the contrary, all the
prerequisites that determine and define a top athlete (typical or disabled) are similar,
with the exception the factor having to do with social acceptance and the general
awareness of the social group. In a society with constant differentiations and
inequalities between people with diverse cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs,
social origins etc., physical disability possibly inhibits the least, if at all, a person’s
social and, particularly, sports activities.
         The modern social approach model focuses on the concept that disability does
not involve the individual but society itself and the mechanisms it puts in place so as
to smooth down any inequalities. This modern concept of social approach aims to
integrate people with disabilities into the current system and prevents the
development of a parallel welfare support policy system.
         Participation in sports has been, is and may be a factor for smoothing down
any particularities, a fact which is proven in fact and in essence by the actions of top
athletes, whether disabled or able-bodied.
3.2 Attitudes towards the Disabled in Greece-Historical review

        Historically, the prevalent perceptions about people with disabilities are very
interesting due to the different views that have been expressed and have stigmatized
total chronicle periods about the confrontation and approaching of people who
dispose from the normal.
     Hippoctates (460-377 B.C.) for the first time refused prejudices and supported
that disabled people have a problem with the balance of their somatic liquids. So,
hellenic and roman medicine adopted this perception and applied a human therapy for
those people. The above included everydays take care, exercise, massage and thermal
baths. However, these attitudes were over passed with the appearance of new religions
and cultures. Specifically, during middle ages and until the end of 17th century
prejudice prevailed again with the correspondent confrontation.
        In the 19th century the first asylums used chains in order to tight the Disabled
in their beds or they used different techniques so as to preserve them in isolation, such
as give them drugs. In this condition the integration of those people seemed
        Contemporary beliefs and attitudes towards people with disabilities have
changed a lot in relation to the preceding century, although the confrontation in some
occasions remains primitive. Science has developed methods for diagnosis,
classification, therapy and education of disabled people. Knowledge acquainted
permitted a better confrontation of those people with the condition that there is a
coordinated program of the appropriate services from the first time a person with
disability is born.
        Finally, the development of disabled sports has proved to be a good vehicle for
the accomplishment of social participation and considering. Although there hasn’t
been published yet a research concerning the attitudes of the Greeks towards people
with disability (although it is expected so), it seems that the Paralympic Games of
2004 left a great legacy in the change of attitudes and images.

4. Organisation of APA in Greece

APA can be described into the following fields:
       a. Physical Education in Special Schools and Special Classes (see 4.1),
       b. Competitive Sport for disabled people (see 4.2),
       c. Recreation programs for special populations (see 4.3) and
       d. Rehabilitation of people with disabilities and chronicle diseases (see 4.4).
In Greece, the responsibility for the organisation and development of the above fields
lies under the supervision of : i) the Ministry of National Education and Religious
Affairs (MNERA), ii) Hellenic Ministry of Culture via the Deputy Minister of Culture
with responsibilities for sport and the Secretariat General of Sport (SGS) and iii)
Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW). The above ministries function autonomously
or in collaboration in order to promote APA.

4.1 Physical Education in Special Schools and Special Classes

4.1.1 Structure of Greek Educational System and Special Education

       Education in Greece is compulsory for all children 6-15 years old; namely, it
includes Primary and Lower Secondary Education. The school life of the students,
however, can start from the age of 2,5 years (pre-school education) in private and
public institutions (crèches). In some crèches there are also nursery classes which
operate along with the kindergartens. Post-compulsory Secondary Education,
according to the reform of 1997, consists of two school types:          Unified Upper
Secondary Schools and Technical Vocational Educational Schools (TEE).
       Along with the mainstream schools of Primary and Secondary Education,
Special kindergartens, primary, secondary and upper secondary classes are in
operation, which admit students with special educational needs. Following the
disability of every student, there are separate schools for mental disabilities, visual
impairments, hearing disabilities, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, autism
and multiple disabilities. According to Law 2817/2000, article 1 special cases are
ascertained by Centers of Diagnosis, Classification and Support (K.D.A.Y).
Furthermore, in the age of 14, students with disabilities depending on their potential,
have the opportunity to attend either Technical Vocational Institutes (TEE) or
Laboratories of Special Vocational Education and Training (EEEEK). Moreover, in
many typical schools there are special classes, in which students with disabilities are
included. The State also provides free education in disabled students into special
public schools.
       For the academic year 2004-2005, in all over the country functioned 118
Special Kindergartens, 170 Special Primary Schools, 10 Special Lower Secondary
Schools, 4 Special Upper Secondary Schools, 9 TEE for disabled people, 72 EEEEK
and 1610 Special Classes. The majority of these schools are located in Athens.
Finally, consistent with the statistical records of MNERA there are approximately
19,038 students attending Greek Special Schools.

4.1.2 Adapted Physical Education (APE)

       Physical Education (PE) in Special Schools operates under the competence of
the Directorate of Special Education and the Directorate of Physical Education both of
which address to the MNERA. The Directorate of Special Education materializes the
educational policy of MNERA for disabled students. The Directorate of PE is
responsible for the development of PE in all scales of Education, according to the
demands of the society. In this Directorate there is a special department, which deals
in matters of Curriculum in Primary and Secondary PE. More specifically, the
Curriculum of PE in Special Schools is being projected in collaboration with
Pedagogical Institute, Greek Departments of PE and Sport Science and school
       Despite the- five year - existence of the above department, there is not a
structured analytical program for PE in Special Schools at the moment. Although
proposals for such a project exist, yet there isn’t any materialization of any of these.
Therefore, officially, the same curriculum that is in force for typical schools is
supposed to be followed by Special Schools. In practice this is not possible due to the
nature of disabilities of special students. In these conditions, according to the
available spaces for physical activity in schools, the equipment, the kind and most
importantly the level of disability of the students, the Teacher of PE (TPE) carries out
the yearlong program. At the beginning of the academic year, he/she designs and
deposits his/her ideas to the Director of the school and they both decide about the
curriculum of PE. Concerning the frequency of PE classes in Special Schools, it is
usually held about two hours per week for every class.
         Most of the times, students in Special Classes attend the regular program in PE
together with typical students thanks to their ability to do so.
         TPEs in Special Schools are first of all physical educators who are qualified to
work in typical public schools. In addition, they must have specialized in Adapted
Physical Activity either in one of the Universities of the country who provide this
specialization or in a University abroad, if their academic title is recognised by Greek
         In many cases, schools provide their venues in order for programs of adapted
physical activities to be held in cooperation with Local Authorities (municipalities
etc.). These programs do not differ from the ones that Adapted Physical Educators
teach within the regular academic schedule. The most popular sports are basketball,
soccer, swimming and track & field.

4.2. Competitive Sport for disabled people

4.2.1 Development of Competitive Sport in Greece - Historical Review

         Competitive Sport for disabled people started developing in Greece after 1976.
From 1983 until 1990 sports for disabled people began little by little to rise. The
evolution of the special sport programs in conjunction with the sporadic actions of the
sport sectors of the unions for the disabled place the first base for the development of
sports. A simple participation in physical exercise turns into participation in specific
sports such as swimming, track and field, basketball etc.
         Consequently, with the Presidential Decree 77/1985, ‘Regulations of the SGS’
the department of special sports is established and begins to operate as an organic
unit. Therefore, clubs are formed with the support of the State.
         In 1987 SGS organized the 1st Panhellenic Championship for people with
disabilities. The establishment of the organization and holding of annual Panhellenic
Championships provided the opportunity to athletes to stand out. Their strenuous
efforts and dedication led them in distinctions in international level.
         According to Law 2433/1996 ‘Sports federations may be established, provided
there are corresponding world sports federations recognized by the International
Paralympic Committee (IPC)’. As a result of this Sport Federations were also
established so as the disabled sport structure then adopted the following form: sport
clubs and sport federations for the Disabled, National Committee for Sports for the
Disabled, where all the categories of disabilities participating in IPC plus the
categories of the Deaf, Transplant and Dialysis athletes, are represented.

4.2.2 Greek legislation for Special Competitive Sport

According to the basic Greek Law for disabled sport 2725/1999, article 29:
•      Competitive Sport for the Disabled lies under the protection of the State (para.
•      Clubs for disabled people can be recognized as Special Sport Clubs after
       having taken part in a Panhellenic Championship for disabled people during
       the last two years and the total number of its athletes must be at least fifteen
       (para. 3)
•      In order for a special sport federation to be established, at least five special
       recognized sport clubs need to participate in it and also there must be a
       correspondent world sport federation (para. 4).
•      People with disabilities are allowed to be members of special sport clubs and
       are classified by a special committee which is constituted by the familiar sport
       federation (para. 5).
•      The profession of disabled coaching is allowed to be practiced by coaches who
       possess a special permission, that is are graduate students of Greek
       Departments of Physical Education and Sport Science or equivalent
       universities of abroad. In addition, elite athletes having conquered the first
       until the eighth position in the Olympics and the first until the third position in
       a World Championship are permitted to be coaches in disabled sports only
       after the graduation of a special school (of Law 2725/1999, article 31 para.
       4)(para. 7).
•      Technical officials in special sport events are defined technical officials of the
       familiar sport, who have attended special seminars of the corresponding sport
       federation of disabled people (para. 8).
Hellenic Paralympic Committee (HPC)

       According to Law 2725/1999, article 29 para. 9 (after the recent reform of
Law 3207/2003:
       Private legal entity is established labeled 'Hellenic Paralympic Committee'.
The plenary session of the administration of HPC is composed by ten elective
representatives of HDSF, who represent equally the categories of the disabilities such
as they forecasted from International Paralympic Committee (IPC), one representative
of Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), one representative of SGS, three
paralympians and four important personalities defined from the Ministry of Culture.
       The objects of HPC are the following:
a) Representation of Greece in IPC, b) Introduction of legislative measures and
reformations for every subject concerning disabled sport, c) Observation and
administration of sport venues, so as to ensure the accessibility of kinetic Disabled
and blind athletes, d) Promotion of sport events and championships for disabled
people, e) Preparation and participation of national teams in international sport
competitions and the Paralympics, f) Consultation about the finance should be given
to HDSF and the other sport clubs from Greek State and g) Consultation on the
criteria for the subsidization of disabled sport clubs.

4.2.3 Structure of Special Competitive Sport in Greece

       Under the authority of HPC lie two sport federations:
1. Hellenic Disabled Sports Federation (HDSF)
2. Hellenic Wheelchair Basketball Federation (HWBF)
       Apart from the above federations there is 'Hellenic Athletic Federation of the
Deaf (HAFD), which functions under the shield of SGS and is being controlled,
supported and financed by the Ministry of Culture.
       Finally, in Greece there are two independent organizations-clubs:
a) The Special Olympics
b) Two sport clubs of renal problems, labeled: i) SAN & ii) Dromeas
Hellenic Disabled Sports Federation (HDSF)

        HDSF is regulated by the Law 2725/1999, article 29 para. 4 and it represents
five categories of disabilities:
-Cerebral Palsy
-Spinal Cord Injury
-Blind & visually impaired
-Intellectual disability
        Its forces include 50 clubs with an athletic membership of 700 people. These
sport clubs cultivate the following sports: track & field, swimming, weightlifting on
the bench, shooting, table tennis, wheelchair tennis, football for the blind, judo for the
blind, sailing, equestrian, boccia, basketball, cycling, fencing, goalball and chess for
the blind.

Hellenic Wheelchair Basketball Federation (HWBF)

        In 1998 SGS recognized the above federation as an autonomous one, which
follows the sport laws, has her own Articles, rules and provides for the development
of the sport in national and international level. HWBF is member of International
Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF). At this moment in Greece there are 14
teams, which participate in Greek Championship A1 and A2 national category, which
is organised by HWBF as well as Greek Cup. The total number of Greek wheelchair
basketball players is approximately 250. The federation has in her forces Association
of Wheelchair Basketball Technical Officials with 80 members, 5 of which are
international technical officials.

Hellenic Athletic Federation of the Deaf (HAFD)

        HAFD is the apposite organization for the development of sports and
championship of the deaf in pan Hellenic level. The federation was founded in 1988
and has been officially recognized by the Greek State on July 1999 and is regulated
by the Law 2725/1999, article 29 para. 4. HAFD is a member of C.I.S.S. (Comite
International des Sports des Sourds) and E.D.S.O. (European Deaf Sports
Organization). Its forces include 8 sport clubs with an athlete membership of 380
people. Finally it covers the following sports: football, men's-women's basketball,
swimming, shooting, track & field, bowling and Tae Kwon Do.

Special Olympics

       Special Olympics are a sports organization involved with the sports of people
with intellectual disability within a sports-for-all framework. Although they preserve
a competitive character, the organization's philosophy remains the joy of participation
in sports and social integration. The Special Olympics organization works together
with the local organizations and in collaboration with MNERA organizes sport events
in all over the country, where special students participate in them. In Greece the
organization has been operating since 1981 and approximately 6,500 children take
part in these competitions.

Renal Patients Athletic Association-SAN

       The association cultivates mainly Olympic sports such as athletics, swimming
and table tennis. Its 50 athletes, man and women, take part in the World
Championship for the Transplanted, which is being held every two years, in the
European Championship of people who do haemocatharsis and of transplanted
people, which is being held every two years and in the correspondent Greek
championship held every year. Although this association functions independently of
the SGS, the Greek championship is organized autonomously with the assistant of

4.3 Recreational programs for special populations

4.3.1 Recreation and the program ‘Sports for All’

       In view of modern lifestyle and researches’ outcomes concerning benefits of
exercise in people’s health and their psychosocial condition, physical activity as a
way of life should be considered as one of the basic components for qualitative
administration and vital utilization of leisure time.
        With the intention of satisfying all people’s needs for physical activity in
Greece, General Sports Secretariat (SGS), in the year 1983, initiated a program
labeled “Sports for All’’. This program constitutes an advantaged space of
conjunction of the other two pylons of sport’s development, which is Physical
Education and Competitive Sport.
        The main goals of this program, which has been spread out the last years in all
over the country, is the amelioration of people’s biological level, the development of
athletic consciousness and recreation of people who participate in these programs.

4.3.2   ‘Sports for All’ and special populations

        The reformation in social and political reality of Greece during the last years,
after the entry of approximately 1.000.000 financial immigrates, the undertaking of
the Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2004, the legislative propulsion of social
integration of disabled people (Act of school inclusion and psychiatric reformation),
forced the State to turn its concern into special population’s needs. In particular,
attempts were made in order to give the opportunity in such populations to participate
in social activities, from which they were excluded the preceding years. In these
conditions SGS designed and implemented special programs in the framework of the
program ‘Sports for All’. These programs concern: 1.people with disabilities, 2.drug
addicts, 3.people with psychiatric problems, 4.prisoners, 5.other groups which are not
incorporated in Greek society.
        The programs for people with disabilities address to people with mental and
physical disabilities, sensory impairments, chronicle diseases and are taken place in
schools, institutions (within or without school hours) and in adapted sport venues of
every municipality. Their goals are: the right of participation in physical activity,
decrease of the consequences that cause the disability, development of multiple
abilities (motor and psychological), possibility of inclusion into society and
psychological support. The programs for people with psychiatric problems address to
people with emotional illnesses, psychological diseases, problems in adaptation and
personality disorders caused of any reasons. The places which such programs are held
are psychiatric hospitals, mental health centers and adapted sport venues of every
region. These programs’ aims are: promotion of health, integration and inclusion in
society,        amelioration   of   people’s        behavior,    psychomotor    development,
communication potentials and recreation.
        Throughout the last years programs for people with disabilities are realized in
almost 49 prefectures. During the period 2001-2002 14 Teachers of PE (TPE) were
employed, the period 2002-2003 about 18 TPE, while in the period 2003-2004 about
37. Respectively, in programs for people with psychiatric problems for the period
2003-2004 worked 21 TPE against 14 during the period 2001-2002 and 15 in 2002-
        TPE is an accredited Physical Educator with specialization in APA. Moreover,
work experience, knowledge and postgraduate studies in the field are considered and
provide them with credits for their selection. Depending on their credits, TPE are
hired from the Municipalities, although 100% of the salaries of TPE are supplied from
SGS. Local Government Departments meet all the other expenses. Every employed
TPE is possible to work until 30 hours per week, which means that they can teach in
10 classes (every class is held about 3 hours per week). Throughout 2003-2004 there
has been 745 classes for people with disabilities while 45 classes for people with
psychiatric problems. Finally, SGS’ s financial support for the above programs was
1.000.000 Euros, while funding for the whole program ‘Sports for All’ was 7.000.000
Euros (that is 14%).

4.3.3 Organisation and structure of Special Programs

        1. Central Organisation Committee for Sports for All: A special Committee
created by Ministerial Decision under theιr aegis of the SGS ensures that the
programs run smoothly and efficiently. It is responsible for the planning, co-
ordination and approval of financing, as well as evaluation and supervision of
program implementation.
        2. County Officer: The County Officer is a TPE working in the public sector.
His headquarters are the county’s Physical Education Office or another location
decided upon by the Prefect. The County Officer is appointed by the SGS. He is
responsible for briefing and co-operating with Local Government Departments (level
A),        on       matters     relating       to       Sports     for    All      programs.
His task also includes co-operation with competent bodies at County level in matters
relating to planning, potential further development of the "Sports for All" program,
co-ordination of activities with other sports organisations, promotion of the programs
and raising the necessary funds.
       At the end of the academic year, every municipality which is interested in
applying programs regarding physical activities for special populations, place their
suggestions in SGS via the Country Officer. After evaluating these suggestions SGS
approves the number of classes according to their standards.

4.3.4 Concerning the success of Special Programs

       The most popular sports in these programs are swimming, track and field,
basketball and soccer. First of all, their success appears from people’ demands when
the proclamations of SGS delay.
       Furthermore, during the years 2000-2002 a research conducted by SGS
showed an increased inclination in special programs, in which new programs such as
exercise for people with heart diseases and people suffering from Alzheimer’ disease
were included.
       Finally, a comparative study with reference to general and special programs
(‘Sports for All’) in 2003, held by the Laboratory of APA of the Department of PE
and Sports Science of Athens, showed that: a. the most important driving force for
participants in special programs is recreation contrary to the development of their
fitness, b. people with disabilities find the equipment provided adequate for the
realization of the programs and their expectations were covered generally and c. the
participation of special groups is 12%, comparing to the respective percentage of the
participants in general programs (88%). The above researchers emphasize the
importance of enhanced information and projection of special programs with the
consequence of mass participation.
       Finally, at Spring time, some municipalities organise sport events, where
people with disabilities participate. These are extra organizations that depend on the
employs’ mood and interest to further expand their activities. Such organisations
proclaim programs success and strengthen people’s athletic consciousness. However,
last year (2004) these activities decreased because of lack of funds.
4.3.5   Other recreational programs

        Separately from the approved special programs in the frame of the program
‘Sports for All’ SGS organizes some other recreational programs for special
populations. Owing to lack of finances of the municipalities or maybe the fact that
they wouldn’t like to expand their activities into other residents outside their district,
led SGS to create some supplementary programs on its own. In these programs it
undertakes every task such as announcing of the proclamation, formation of the
criteria of selection of TPE and their employment. SGS cooperates with centres of
mental health and schools, but not through Municipalities. SGS sponsors the total
expenses of the above activities. For the year 2004 these programs cost 500.000 Euros
and especially 62 TPEs were hired for physical activities of disabled people. Working
conditions for TPE are the same with special programs mentioned before.
        Private as opposed to governmental organisations has until today attempted to
organise structured recreational activities in Greece. Over the last ten years private
travel agents that specialize in outdoor activities for all individuals have organised
several recreational field trips. These agents often have the scientific support of
Sports’ Universities of the country (e.g. Serres) and as a result there have been
implemented many programs over the last years.

4.4 Rehabilitation for people with disabilities and chronicle diseases

        The term “Rehabilitation” means the provision of health services for patients
who need physical recovery and they suffer from muscle, respiratory, circulatory,
nervous and skeletal problems as well as mental retardation and chronic diseases. In
Greece, there are two types of rehabilitation and physical recovery programs: medical
rehabilitation and rehabilitation through activities and sports. These programs have
been developed through the two most important types of rehabilitation organizations,
Public Health Care Centres (under the MHW) and Private Health Care Institutes.
During the past four years, some of the Greek laws concerning rehabilitation and
physical recovery have been revised (mainly structure changes were held), and many
new Centres have been founded in every region of Greece.
4.4.1 Public Health Care Centres

   A. The centers of rehabilitation and recovery (CRR) are independent and self-
       sustaining units which provide health care services to external or internal
       disabled patients with muscle, respiratory, circulatory and nervous problems
       that complete the prerequisites (Law 2072/1992). These centers use recent
       technologies and new methods of medical rehabilitation and physical

   B. There are also four Rehabilitation Centers for Physical and Social Recovery
       (RCPSR) and one Rehabilitation, Recovery and Social Support Center for
       disabled people. Additionally, three more RCFSRs have been functioned
       recently and the MHW is currently in the process of supplying them with the
       necessary resources. The main purpose of RCFSRs is to facilitate functional
       rehabilitation, physical recovery, and social integration. Additionally, there are
       some other centers with appropriate infrastructure and special services.

   C. There are 24 Centers of Education, Social Support and Formation for people
       with disabilities (CESSF), and 18 of them are currently in operation. Their
       goal is to offer functional rehabilitation, as well as education, consultation, job
       support and entertainment through sports.

   D. There is also the National Confederation for people with disabilities
       (NCPWD) which offers many different services and as a part of them a
       various number of programs of medical rehabilitation and rehabilitation
       through activities and sports.

   E. According to Law 2817/2000, 54 centres of diagnosis, classification and
       support for children were founded in many regions of Greece, and are in co-
       operation with CESSF.
4.4.2 Private Institutes

        Law 2072/1992 provides a number of adequate factors that are important, in
order for a Center of Rehabilitation and Physical Recovery to be established.
        There are many Private Institutes for Rehabilitation in Greece and most of
them are supported financially from the State. They mainly offer medical
rehabilitation and physical recovery through physical activities.
        The total number of public and private centers-institutes in Greece that offer
several services and rehabilitation is 288. In addition there is a large number of
erudition centers that lie under the MHW.
        Finally, many different services are offered -as well as rehabilitation- from a
large number of individual Confederations for disabled people.

5. Academic Training for TPEs

        In Greece there are five Departments of PE and Sport Sciences (DPESS),
which can be found at the following Universities:

  1. The National and Kapodestrian University of Athens
  2. The Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki
  3. The University of Serres ( a branch of The Aristotelian University of
  4. The Demokritian University of Komotini
  5. The University of Thessalia (Trikala)

        Several special education and special physical education courses are provided
to students, both compulsory and non-compulsory. In recent years, students have the
opportunity to choose a specialization in APA during the third and/or fourth year of
the program, depending on the University.
        University of Athens offers individual Masters degree and PhD programs in
APA, but with a limited number of positions available (one or two). University of
Thessaloniki runs an inter-departmental Masters program in APA in co-operation with
the remaining three Universities.
        At the DPESS of Athens, a compulsory APA course is taught during the
second year of studies. It is also possible to apply for the specialization in APA in the
fourth year of studies
        At the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, a compulsory special education
course is taught during the third year of studies. It is also possible to follow a primary
or secondary specialization in APA in the third or fourth year of studies.
        At the University of Serres, two compulsory courses (Introduction to Special
Education I and II) are taught during the third year. A specialization in APA is offered
and Masters and PhD programs in “Physical Activity in Special Populations” are part
of the interdepartmental Masters and Ph.D program of Thessaloniki’s University.
        At The Demokritian University of Komotini, a compulsory course (Children
with Disabilities in the School Environment) is offered during the second year of
studies. There is also a non-compulsory course called “Adapted Activity in the
        Finally, the University of Thessalia (Trikala) offers a well-organized
specialization in ‘Special Physical Education’.

  6. Research in APA in Greece

        National Center of Research in Physical Activity (EKAE), Greek DPESS,
institutes, study centers and university hospitals implement researches in relation to
the field.
        The main goal of the Laboratory of APA (Developmental and Motor
Disorders, 2005) of the Department of PE and Sport Science in Athens is to create a
database of    biological and technical parameters for the assessment of disabled
athletes and disabled people who regularly exercise, in order to achieve a
scientifically designed and     well organized sports system for the disabled. The
elements that are included in the database will be used for the creation of individual
profiles of evaluation. The results of those profiles will be integrated with general
directions of training in order to improve performance. The results of the research
refers to disabled athletes and disabled people who regularly exercise, coaches for
disabled people, athletic clubs, confederations for disabled people, etc..
       In addition, the DPESS of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, which
as mentioned above is the leading University of the Inter-departmental Master and
PhD programs, runs a number of research programs in the field of APA in
cooperation with the DPESS of Serres, Komotini and Trikala.
       Another center of study which runs researches in a particular part of APA is
the program ‘Pheidippidis’ which officially started in 1997. Its aim was the
systematic research and confrontation of hereditary heart diseases in the country and
the prevention of sudden death of young athletes. SGS, Secretariat General of New
Generation (GGNG), Secretariat General of Research and Technology (GGET) and
the Greek Institute of Cardiology (ELIKAR) support financially the above program.
The main project of the program is indeed control of athletes with suspicion and
diagnosis of heart disease, something which lacked from Greece.

 7. Suggestions for the development of APA in Greece-Discussion

       APA can be developed if society is willing to assist disabled people to be
included in it. The advancement of the integration process of the Disabled requires a
series of innovations in all the areas of APA. In the area of school sports, the
organization of School Championships, with the participation of disabled and able-
bodied students, in regional and in national level will assist in the coexistence and
interaction of all children. Moreover, wherever it is possible, common programs in the
framework of ‘Sports for All’ could be launched for both people with and without
disabilities. In the area of organized sports the implementation of sport events
participating disabled and non-disabled athletes and the creation of common sport
federations could serve at the same way the interest of all the athletes in the best
possible way.
       The above proposals for integration programs are the result of a philosophy
which respects diversity and human rights. In Greece, although in a slow pace, and
especially after the Paralympics of 2004, APA is continuously coming up and
hopefully in a few years, with the appropriate education of people working in the
field, it will be able to assist the inclusion of disabled people in Greek society.

   -   Koutsouki, D. (1997). Special physical education. Theory and practice.
       Athens: Athanasopoylos-Papadamis & Sia
   -   Ministry of Culture. Secretariat General of Sports. Minutes of the Seminar of
       persons with disabilities in Sport. Sport and social cohesion, Sport of persons
       with disabilities, The challenge of the Paralypmic Games. Thessaloniki, April
       11-12, 2003.
   -   Greek Constitution 1975/1986/2001.
   -   Sherrill, C. (1999). Adapted physical activity, recreation and sport.
       Crossdisciplinary and life span. McGraw Hill Publishers.
   -   Secretariat General of Sports. (June 2002). Greece in motion, Sport for All.
       Periodical Edition of SGS.
   -   Secretariat General of Sports. (November 2003). Greece in motion, Sport for
       All. Periodical Edition of SGS.
   -   Ministry of Culture. Secretariat General of Sports. Department of Sport for
       All. (29/10/2004). Proclamation of employment of Teachers of Physical
   -   Secretariat General of Sports. National Committee of Sport for All. (April of
       1999). Guide of programs Sport for All.
   -   Law 2072/1992
   -   Law 2725/1999, article 29 (15.09.2004)
   -   Law 2817/2000, article 1
   -   National and Kapodestrian University of Athens, Department of Physical
       Education and Sports. Laboratory of Adapted Physical Activity /
       Developmental and Motor Disorders, 2005.
   -   Hellenic Paralympic Team. (July 2004). 12th Paralmpic Games, Athens 2004.
   -   Information provided by the Ministry of National Religious &Affairs, (July
   -   Information provided by the Secretariat General of Greece, Departments of:
       Special Sports, Sport for All,
   -   Information provided by Hellenic Paralympic Committee and Hellenic
       Disabled Sports Federation
   -   Information provided by the Ministry of Health and Welfare

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