Despite the fact that cerebral palsy affects the balance, coordination, muscles, and movements of individuals, adaptive sports can be used to help individuals with cerebral palsy stay physically active. High-quality physical education and movement opportunities can integrate children with cerebral palsy into movement programing, as to enable children with cerebral palsy to achieve goals related to cognitive skills associated with exploring physical health, maintaining physical health, as well as affective values towards physical health, movement, play, and general wellbeing. Cerebral palsy has not prevented some people from being athletes who have managed to compete on the international stage. Sports is one way to encourage people with cerebral palsy to socialize, be fit, stay healthy, and, most importantly, have fun. Enjoyment of physical activity can improve the self-efficacy of individuals with cerebral Palsy. It can motivate them to override pain and sustain their participation. This article details the considerations, recommendations, safety concerns, and facilitation protocols for individuals with cerebral palsy participating in adapted sport.


Cerebral palsy, Adaptive sport, Special Olympics, Paralympics, Inclusive physical activity,


  1. C. Nelson, K. Fuchs, L.W. Pennington, & C.G. Pennington, Cerebral Palsy: Enhancing Movement Opportunity with Help from the Care Team, International Journal of Physical Education, Fitness and Sports, 9(4) (2020) 27-30.
  2. O. Verschuren, M.D. Peterson, A.C. Balemans, & E.A. Hurvitz, Exercise and physical activity recommendations for people with cerebral palsy, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 58(8) (2016) 798-808.
  3. S. Reedman, R.N. Boyd, & L. Sakzewski, The efficacy of interventions to increase physical activity participation of children with cerebral palsy: A systematic review and meta‐analysis, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 59(10) (2017) 1011-1018.
  4. P.G. McPhee, O. Verschuren, M.D. Peterson, A. Tang, & J.W. Gorter, The Formula for Health and Well-Being in Individuals With Cerebral Palsy: Cross-Sectional Data on Physical Activity, Sleep, and Nutrition, Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine, 44(4) (2020) 301-310.
  5. S. Cummings, J. Ayisire, S. Pusch, & C.G. Pennington, How Can Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Affect Sport Performance?. Curriculum and Teaching Methodology. 3 (2020) 93-95.
  6. C.G. Pennington, & L.W. Pennington, A Chance to Play is a Chance to Learn: Integrating Individuals with Physical Disabilities into Physical Education, Curriculum and Teaching Methodology, 3 (2020) 81-89.
  7. J. McDonald, E. Wind, & C.G. Pennington, Netball as an Activity for Individuals with Hemophilia, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 91(2) (2021) 46-48.
  8. C. Hernandez, D. Loeung, R. Washington, & C.G. Pennington, Increasing Physical Activity in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury, Journal of Physical Fitness, Medicine & Treatment in Sports, 8(4) (2020) 37-38.
  9. O. Verschuren, L. Wiart, D. Hermans, & M. Ketelaar, Identification of facilitators and barriers to physical activity in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy, The Journal of Pediatrics, 161(3) (2012) 488-494.
  10. M.A. Fragala-Pinkham, & J. Miros, Community Resources: Sports and Active Recreation for Individuals with Cerebral Palsy. In: Miller F., Bachrach S., Lennon N., O'Neil M.E. (eds) Cerebral Palsy. Springer, Cham. (2020) 2507-2518.
  11. J.B. Ryan, A. Katsiyannis, D. Cadorette, J. Hodge, & M. Markham, Establishing adaptive sports programs for youth with moderate to severe disabilities, Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 58(1) (2014) 32-41.
  12. V. Allan, B. Smith, J. Côté, K.A.M. Ginis, & A.E. Latimer-Cheung, Narratives of participation among individuals with physical disabilities: A life-course analysis of athletes' experiences and development in parasport, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 37 (2018) 170-178.
  13. R.A. Flindall, A Paralympic legacy? British newspaper representations of the Paralympic movement during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games, Diagoras: International Academic Journal on Olympic Studies, 2 (2018) 145-172.
  14. T.J. Suchomel, S. Nimphius, C.R. Bellon, & M.H. Stone, The importance of muscular strength: training considerations, Sports Medicine, 48(4) (2018) 765-785.
  15. J.M. Ryan, O. Hensey, B. McLoughlin, A. Lyons, & J. Gormley, Associations of sedentary behaviour, physical activity, blood pressure and anthropometric measures with cardiorespiratory fitness in children with cerebral palsy, PloS One, 10(4) (2015) e0123267.
  16. A. Yilmaz, M. Beyleroglu, M. Hazar, H. Kirimoglu, & U. Sentürk, Flexibility and game actions’ effects on lower extremity joint range of motion in cerebral palsied children (spastic type), Studies on Ethno-Medicine, 11(2) (2017) 174-179.
  17. J. Toldi, J. Escobar, & A. Brown, Cerebral Palsy: Sport and Exercise Considerations, Current Sports Medicine Reports, 20(1) (2021) 19-25.
  18. T.L. Baldi, G. Spagnoletti, M. Dragusanu, & D. Prattichizzo, Design of a wearable interface for lightweight robotic arm for people with mobility impairments, International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR) pp. 1567-1573) (2017).
  19. D. Keppeler, M. Schwaerzle, T. Harczos, L. Jablonski, A. Dieter, B. Wolf, S. Ayub, C. Vogl, C. Wrobel, G. Hoch, K. Abdellatif, M. Jeschke, V. Rankovic, O. Paul, P. Ruther, T. Moser, Multichannel optogenetic stimulation of the auditory pathway using microfabricated LED cochlear implants in rodents, Science Translational Medicine, 12(553) (2020) eabb8086.