With Bettella, Toffanin and Pantaleo a lesson in sport and inclusion


Editorial Committee
07 April 2022 10:11

Yesterday morning, April 6, the Conegliano branch of the University of Padua organized an original online lesson aimed at students of the 1st year of the degree courses in Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy within the framework of the General Methodology of Professional Exercise course . The meeting aimed to deepen the question of Disability and Autonomy through the testimony of some disabled people who live significant experiences of participation.

“It was a very interesting lesson – comments prof. Riccardo Verza, coordinator of the courses of the Conegliano branch of the University of Padua – from each testimony an important food for thought emerged, useful to help future rehabilitation operators understand the complexity of the concepts of autonomy and participation”.

Among the participants, some have succeeded in realizing their aspirations in sporting careers (even at a high level), others in the normal activities of daily life. The outstanding teachers of the morning were Paralympic athlete Francesco Bettella, winner of 4 Olympic medals in swimming, former user of La Nostra Famiglia of Padua: graduated in engineering, Francesco is pursuing a doctorate in neurosciences at the University of Padua. Marco Toffanin, handbike athlete and head of the sports association ASD Restart Sport Academy, promotes the social inclusion of children with disabilities through the value of sport. Diana Pantaleo, on the other hand, is a young woman who has decided to challenge her pathology by making courageous life choices oriented towards her own autonomy.

We asked Francesco what it meant to win four Olympic medals? He replied, “For me, it was the culmination of a goal I had set myself. When you get on the podium, it rewards you for a lot of hard work, sacrifice and effort. Getting to where I had arrived was unthinkable at first because I always gave myself gradual and achievable steps. I would never have thought that I would soar so high”.

What are the assets for success? “Above all, you have to have the will to confront your own limits, the will to get involved and the desire to give space to your passions”.

The role of rehabilitation in your life? “It was fundamental for my growth, since I attended the Rehabilitation Center of La Nostra Famiglia in Padua from the age of 3, it has been a succession of therapies and maintenance and improvement courses . I was lucky to have physiotherapists who believed in me and offered me various motor activities”.

The lesson was attended by 140 students from the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy CDLs of the University of Padua, belonging to the teaching centers of Conegliano, Padua, Venice and Schio.

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