Former Bobcat Studies Impact of Sports on Students with Learning Disabilities

Illustration of girl runningA Brandon University graduate is undertaking a year-long study to investigate the effects of school sports on students with learning disabilities.

Raisa Rybinski, in her second year of BU’s Master of Education degree, has been awarded a $17,500 federal grant to assist her research project, entitled Sports Inclusion and Special Education.

“ Physical activity is key to living a long and healthy lfe,

and children and youth who are active in sports are healthier, more engaged, and achieve more in school and life,” says Rybinski, a former award-winning basketball player with the BU Bobcats.

“My research will focus on how children with learning disabilities involved in school sports compare to those who are not involved, in terms of inclusion in the community, friendships, social skills, academic ability, effort, and achievement. Additionally, I hope to include in my research recommended ways in which families, schools, and communities can promote and support active living for children with and without learning disabilities.”

Rybinski is receiving funding from the SSHRC Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s Program, which provides financial support to high-caliber students engaged in graduate studies.

BU’s Associate Dean of Education, Dr. Jacqueline Kirk, says that Rybinski will bring remarkable personal insight to the research. “Raisa is a student athlete and she works with her family in the operation of a care home for individuals with special needs, so she has a depth and passion for this study that would be hard to match. She
is the right person to do this research.”