Making sure that sport becomes truly for everyone and a tool for social inclusion for children with motor disabilities: this is the goal pursued by the researchers of the GIFT - EnGIneering For sporT for all project, which recently presented the results of their work over the past 18 months.
GIFT has focused its activities on 19 hemiplegic children attending primary school. The project followed two paths: technological research , which developed innovative orthoses (medical devices used in orthopedics or traumatology in the treatment of certain pathologies) which, by correcting the functional deficit of hemiplegic children, allowed them to approach sports practice trying to cover most of the motor and cognitive disabilities; social research , which then involved families, teachers and sports associations so that these children could really do sports, reducing the distance that exists today between those we call able-bodied and disabled.
The project was a success: the next step will be to generate a concrete impact , which goes beyond the 19 hemiplegic children of the various Lombard schools who have been involved in the experimentation of innovative orthoses.
Politecnico di Milano has made available € 570,000 - raised through the funds of 5 for mille - to finance projects on the topic of “Sport and Social Inclusion” with the aim of making a concrete contribution to improving the quality of life of citizens, combining scientific research and social commitment. Among these also the GIFT project, which received part of the funds ( € 90,000 ) qualifying as one of the winners of the Polisocial Award 2019 .
"GIFT - declared professor Manuela Galli of the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering of the Politecnico and scientific director of the project - wants to be a gift for all children with functional limitations . The orthoses that are used have indications relating to restraint of the lower limb with support for walking: when it is used in a situation other than walking, such as running, the prescription for use is exited ".
The research project was developed by the Interdepartmental Laboratory E4Sport of Politecnico di Milano and saw the involvement of partners such as the Association La Nostra Famiglia - IRCCS "Eugenio Medea", the Catholic University of Milan, ITOP, BTS, Math & Sport, Edumoto, Yuki Onlus and various sports associations.
"Understanding how sport and sporting activity can generate value for society and for the economic-productive system is today a priority to promote a change of perspective, recognizing that sport and sporting activity do not they are only 'fun', but they are an important investment - and to be protected - for the well-being of society and its competitiveness " explains Emanuele Lettieri , full professor of Accounting, Finance & Control and project manager of the GIFT project.