IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 5058: A Pilot Acceptability Study of an `AllPlay Pre-Learn` Day Program to Facilitate Participation in Organised Physical Activity for Children with Disabilities (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
In a mixed-methods design, the current study aimed to evaluate the acceptability of a junior Australian rules football program across two ‘AllPlay Pre-Learn’ days for children aged 5–11 years with disabilities, based on parent and child responses. Three online surveys were created by health professionals based on existing participation models. Surveys were completed by parents immediately before (n = 23), after the ‘Pre-Learn’ days (n = 15) and following the conclusion of the community version of the program (n = 13). Quantitative findings indicated significant improvements in child ratings around enjoyment of the sport. Qualitative analyses generated three themes around enjoyment in a low-stress environment; the education provided around the sport for parents/children; and, contemplation about playing the football program within their community. Four families (22% of the original attendees) went on to play the sport within a community setting. Despite acknowledged limitations, this study demonstrates preliminary evidence in support of an ‘AllPlay Pre-Learn’ day as a stepping stone to facilitate later participation in a football program within a child’s community. Increased participation would allow children to experience the benefits associated with sport participation, such as motor and social skill development.