Down syndrome is the most common genetic condition in the United States today, occurring in approximately one of every 691 babies born. Currently over 400,000 Americans are living with Down syndrome. Down syndrome occurs when a person has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. Three types of Down syndrome can occur; these types are known as trisomy 21, translocation and mosiacism. Trisomy 21 accounts for 95% of Down syndrome cases. In this type, an embryo has three copies of chromosome 21, instead of the regular two copies (National Down Syndrome Society, 2012).
The exact cause of the extra chromosome 21 is not known, however there have been some risk factors ...view middle of the document...
According to the Special Olympics, benefits to individuals include improvement of overall fitness level, development of hand-eye coordination, body control and movement, increases in focusing skills, an occasion to meet new friends and a recreational opportunity for both athletes and their families (Special Olympics, p. 5).
Four types of competition in table tennis are available for Special Olympic athletes. These include the individual skills competition, single competition, doubles competition and unified sports doubles. In the individual skills competition, five event scores are totaled for an overall score. The event is aimed at athletes who do not yet have the skill level to play a regulation match, and is focused on developing individual skills. The five events included are the hand bounce, racquet bounce, forehand volley, backhand volley and serve. The single competition is for athletes with a moderate to advanced skill set who have the ability to play a full regulation match. Doubles competition is a two-player event for athletes of moderate to advanced ability with the skill level to play a full regulation match. Unified sports doubles is a unique event in which a Special Olympic athlete is paired with a partner without a disability for a full length regulation doubles match (Special Olympics, p. 5).
USA Table Tennis is the governing body for the sport in the United States. With more than 7,000 athletes and 300 affiliated clubs, they provide a unified resource for athletes across the country. They are headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the US Olympic Training Center. As the official governing body they, along with their club affiliates, provide sanctioned tournaments, leagues, coaching programs, promotional events and recreational and training activities (Special Olympics, p. 16).
The clothing and equipment needed to play table tennis is relatively simple, allowing for many opportunities to play. Clothing should be loose fitting to allow for free movement. In competition, dark colored shirts and shorts are required to help with visibility of the ball. During practice t-shirts are appropriate and in competition most athletes wear tucked in polo type shirts. Gym style shorts, preferably with pockets, are worn in both practice and competition. Table tennis requires much lateral movement, so shoes should be a traditional tennis or court shoe. Running shoes are not appropriate wear due to their inadequate support of lateral movement (Special Olympics, p. 17). The approximate cost for new clothing for a beginning competitor in table tennis would be as low as $50, with most of the cost coming from the purchase of a specific court type shoe.
The equipment needed includes a racquet, balls, a playing area, table and any other training aids coaches or players may choose to use during practice. Coaches help players choose the proper...