Gabrielė Šepikaitė, Raimundas Venskaitis, Karolis Levickis, Alvydas Juocevičius
Goalball or blind hockey is a team game designed for athletes suffering from visual impairment. Blind hockey was created as a tool to improve and alter physical, cognitive, emotional, social, ethical and environmental dimensions of disabled athletes. Aim of the Research. To evaluate the Lithuanian Paralympic goalball team‘s physical fitness. Materials and methods. Nine male athletes from Lithuanian paralimpic goalball team aged from 23 to 45 years participated in this research. In order to assess physical fitness of athletes cardiovascular capacity (Rufje test), explosive force (long jump test), balance (Flamingo test) and reaction test (falling ruler test) tests were conducted and evaluated. Results. The majority of players in the cardiovascular system testing performed similarly, but their results did not reach the level of good training results. Rufje test results demonstrated that two athletes fell into the range of very bad, three –poorly, four –satisfactory. Comparing an explosive leg force test data it was measured that long jump test results exceeded the average in the period of three years. Balance is important physical fitness part for good performance in goalball , therefore most of all goalball players balance performance standing on different legs was rated as very good or satisfactory. Athletes during the game have to make very quick responses to changing conditions of the game, as a result all goalball players achieved the highest score in Flamingo balance testing, which was scored as very good. In conclusion, the majority of Lithuanian Paralympic goalball team athletes have good physical preparation, but all athletes should improve cardiovascular capacity.
Keyword(s): goalball; blindness; paralympic sport; physical fitness.
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