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Colby-Sawyer College to Host Presentation on the Benefits of Sports and Physical Activity for People with Disabilities

NEW LONDON, N.H., Feb. 15, 2011 – Colby-Sawyer College will host a presentation by University of Oklahoma Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences Mark Anderson, who believes sports and physical activity are meant for everyone and not just able-bodied individuals.

Professor Anderson will present “If It's Physical, It's Therapy: Recognizing the Benefits of Sports and Physical Activity for Persons with Disability” in Wheeler Hall at the Ware Campus Center on Tuesday, March 15 at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Campus Activities Board and the Cultural Events Committee, and the public is invited to attend. Admission is free.

Professor Anderson maintains that individuals with disabilities benefit both physically and psychologically from participating in sports and other physical activities, yet he finds our society too often assumes that those with congenital or acquired disabilities have physical or social limitations that preclude their involvement in these activities. These perceptions may come from a lack of understanding of the opportunities for sports and recreational activities for persons with disability, according to Professor Anderson.

“While the risks associated with increased physical activity and sports participation are inherent for anyone, the benefits far exceed the risks,” he says. “It helps individuals with disabilities to better integrate into society, live fuller and richer lives, and further the rehabilitation of both their minds and their bodies.” In his presentation, Professor Anderson will show videos of individuals with disabilities engage in wheelchair basketball, track and field events, weight lifters and swimming. He has traveled with Olympic athletes who are paralyzed from the waist down but can bench press as much or more weight as an able-bodied person.

Mark Anderson earned a B.S. in Physical Therapy at the University of Kansas, an M.S. in Physical Education at Fort Hays State University, and a Ph.D. in Sports Medicine at the University of Virginia. A licensed physical therapist, a certified athletic trainer, and a certified instructor for the American Red Cross Emergency Response course, he serves as associate professor of Physical Therapy at the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, and an adjunct associate professor of Health and Exercise Science at OU-Norman. Professor Anderson has served on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, and has been the primary faculty for more than 50 continuing education courses on orthopedics and sports medicine.

For information about other upcoming events at Colby-Sawyer College, visit

-Cassandra Monahan '11

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college's vibrant teaching and learning community at Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000