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The Effectiveness of The Physiotherapy Program of The Special Olympics Fun Fitness On The Physical Fitness of Athletes With Down Syndrome and Athletes With Intellectual Disabilities Who do Not Have Down Syndrome
Introduction: Modern society faces the challenge of providing a vulnerable group of athletes with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities (IDD), including athletes with Down syndrome (DS), in the process of aging, adequate support in improving physical fitness. The purpose of our study was to investigate the short-term impact of two different physical activity programs within the SO on the physical fitness of athletes with DS and athletes with IDD without DS. Methods: We conducted a comparative experimental study using a quantitative research paradigm to investigate possible differences in individual parameters of physical fitness of SO athletes with DS and SO athletes without DS. Results: based on statistical analysis of the results, we find that the exercise program has an effect on improving individual components of physical fitness (flexibility, muscle strength and endurance, balance and aerobic fitness) and changes in body parameters (body weight, muscle mass, fat percentage, lean percentage, muscle mass, body water percentage, visceral fat and body mass index BMI) in athletes with DS and DSR without DS. Athletes with DS are comparable in the results of physical fitness of athletes without DS, but there are differences between them. The mentioned physiotherapeutic program has a greater influence on the listed parameters in the group of athletes with SO. Conclusions: The physiotherapy program is also suitable for the future, especially for athletes with DS and without DS, who have poorer physical fitness and a high body mass index and poorer body composition parameters.