Introduction to Trauma-Informed Care in Adaptive Sports: Move United Virtual Leadership Conference

Trauma has been identified as an epidemic in our society. Studies indicate that a significant portion of the population have experienced harmful or life-threatening events which have impacted their everyday functioning or well-being. Research shows that individuals living with a disability are more at risk for having experienced trauma in their lives than the rest of the population. There is good news: resilience, a person’s ability to overcome serious hardship, can be grown over time.

This session will introduce the topic of trauma-informed care in adaptive sports, and will include:
• An explanation of what trauma is and why it matters in relation to adaptive sports instruction;
• An overview of the effects of trauma and how it can present; and
• Concrete tools to help instructors avoid the retraumatization of athletes, de-escalate situations when necessary, and help athletes build resilience.

Christine Cowart – Volunteer and Founder of Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership at Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports/Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership

Christine Cowart has built a career in the human services field, with a focus on criminal justice and family services policy, in three states. Through this work, she developed an in-depth understanding of trauma, its possible effects, and what can be done to change the story. As the founder of Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership, she now dedicates her time to spreading this important message and working with organizations to help implement practices that avoid retraumatization and enhance resilience throughout their ranks and beyond. In her personal life, Christine is married, and a mother of two children with traumatic backgrounds. For almost two decades, most of her free time has been spent volunteering as an adaptive sports instructor with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports.

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