Each day over the next week I’ll post up an abstract for a paper being presented by a member of the Critical Physiotherapy Network at the In Sickness and In Health conference in Mallorca in June 2015. (You can find more information on the conference here.)
Students of physiotherapy and their raised awareness on stigma and marginalization through health-team work in the Homeless World Cup.
By Hilde Sylliaas & Anne G. Langaas
Health workers can make a difference for people of marginalized groups. Every year two teachers and 8-10 students of physiotherapy from two different physiotherapy educations in Scandinavia participate as a health-team in the Homeless World Cup (football tournament for homeless people). In this presentation, we have chosen to focus on the learning process of the students. The learning outcomes are related to a public health module in the educational program as well as clinical practice. As teachers we see it as important to focus on health workers’ attitudes towards stigmatized groups.
In this presentation, we will describe how the students work in the health support team and how they reflect on their learning process. The players in the Danish and the Norwegian teams are mainly drug abusers in treatment or just out of rehabilitation. The players are invited to participate by the leader of the national team. A prerequisite is that they must be drug free, in active rehab or just out of rehab. They play football, not only for the sake of football, but also as a means of social and mental empowerment. It is well documented that physical activity contributes to better mental and physical health. In addition being in a team may add to social achievements. The students have these objectives in mind when they participate as physiotherapists. The works of Bruno Latour, Vinciane Despret and Donald A. Schön inspire the focus on learning to be affected and sensitized in situations where the students learn and reflect both in and on action.
The Homeless World Cup (HWC) is a football (or soccer) tournament organized by the Homeless World Cup association, a social organization that advocates the end of homelessness through athletic competition. The organization organizes an annual football tournament where teams of homeless people from many countries compete. The Salvation Army is the official partner for HWC in Norway.