A man plays Boccia from his wheelchair in a competition. Boccia is a ball sport designed for people with cerebral palsy.
This page leads you to several sections about staying active when you have cerebral palsy. The sections have been organized into three areas including activity & exercise, recreation and adaptive sports.  

A powerpoint slide shows Dr. Mark Peterson and the title of his talk on physical activity in cerebral palsy

Click to listen to this 10 minute presentation by Dr. Mark Peterson on the importance of physical activity to promote health in cerebral palsy.

Our cerebral palsy and physical activity page has essential information about cerebral palsy health and fitness including how it supports cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health, and how to get started.

Our cerebral palsy and recreation page will provide you with a wealth of information about types of recreational activities and getting involved with them.

Our cerebral palsy and adaptive sports page describes how you or your may find opportunities in adaptive sports.

This section was created in partnership with Gavin Colquit, Ed.D., Professor of Health and Physical Education at Georgia Southern University

The Cerebral Palsy Research Network believes that experiences with adaptive sports like Julius’ Van Der Wat’s are essential to supporting the wellbeing of people with CP. They by offer opportunities for self-development, movement and social connectedness:

A man plays Boccia from his wheelchair in a competition. Boccia is a ball sport designed for people with cerebral palsy.

Julius Van Der Wat, an adult with CP who lives in South Africa was introduced to boccia by an occupational therapist who is now his coach.

Julius Van Der Wat competes in professional boccia tournaments. When speaking about the benefits boccia Julius says, “Boccia has taught me to take responsibility for my actions and to strengthen by ability to think and plan strategically.”

Boccia is adapted for him and other people in his competitive category called “BC3”. Each person has a sports assistant on the court, although their assistant must sit with their back to the court and only take instructions from their player. Julius also uses assistive devices such as a head pointer and ramps to assist in propelling a ball onto the court of play.

When asked about how he felt when he was invited to play boccia Julius said,

To be honest with you I was very hesitant when I was introduced to boccia, but when I saw it being played and tried it for myself, I was hooked.
Julius Van Der Wat – Adaptive Sports Athlete

The information from this page appears in our free and downloadable cerebral palsy tool kit.