The German Disabled Sports Association (DBS) have reluctantly supported the use of online sport for disabled people during the coronavirus pandemic.
The organisation issued a statement which outlined their view that it generally considers “online rehabilitation sport to be unsuitable”.
However DBS admitted during lockdown periods in several countries as a result of the coronavirus pandemic innovation solutions would need to be sought.
The organisation expressed concerns that physical presence and direct contact of a group with each other and with the trainers cannot be replaced by online exercise.
Concerns were also expressed over the ability of coaches to correct technique of participants during an online session, where potentially 15 people could be shown on a screen during an exercise.
The organisation also said the online offering would be limited to users with technical capabilities, reducing the number of people who can benefit.
However, DBS admitted it would be better to offer exercise to a small group online, rather than none during the lockdown period.
“At present, no reliable forecasts can be made as to when the medically prescribed rehabilitation sport can be carried out again as usual,” the German Disabled Sports Association said.
“Therefore, the current principle must be that it is better to offer a solution for some of the rehabilitation athletes than none at all.
“Sports doctors already warn of the health consequences due to discontinued sports offers that the containment measures entail.
“For the risk group in particular, they advocate moving exercise offers into the home environment.
“The target group of medically prescribed rehabilitation sports largely belongs to a risk group, due to chronic illnesses and/or older age.
“It is already becoming apparent that the current restrictions may last longer for this group of people than for other groups of people.”
The DBS said online rehabilitation could act as a temporary measure for a specific targeted group.
It added that online rehabilitation sports were only conceivable due to an exceptional situation caused by the pandemic and would be limited to the duration of the official restrictions on the implementation of medically prescribed rehabilitation sports.