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  • Writer's pictureRebecca 'Bec' Bacusmo

Kayaking Intensives: Bec's Experience

At Splash Physiotherapy our goal is help children and young people develop functional skills to assist in their participation in activities that are meaningful and enjoyable.

During my first week at Splash, I was excited to start my new role kayaking down the Yarra River, learning, enjoying the sunshine and having some fun with the Splash kids!

What a way to start a new job!

Image description: Splash physiotherapists Shayna (left) and Bec (right) smiling at the camera, standing along a river bank holding their face masks and paddles, and wearing life jackets. To the left is Shayna and to the right is Bec. The background shows the still river, bushes and trees.

What have I learnt?

As an individual with limited kayaking experience, it was an amazing opportunity for me to build on my own kayaking skills but also use this to assist Splash kids to develop theirs.

To be able to participate in activities that are meaningful and enjoyable, we need to develop functional skills to allow us to carry out these activities. To allow for successful learning we need to practice through different types motor learning principles. These include whole vs. part practise, mass vs staggered practise, and making practise either specific or using variable types of practise.

Learning these motor learning skills for myself, provided me with the insight and knowledge that I will use moving forward in my career as a physiotherapist. From teaching Splash kids how to hold and use a paddle correctly on land, to teaching them how to get in/out and manoeuvre their kayak in the water, there were many aspects of teaching someone to learn to kayak that I had not considered.

Image description: Physiotherapist Bec sitting on steps on river bank completing

notes on an ipad, Bec wears a hat and life jacket. The back ground shows

the river, trees, bushes and kayaking equipment on the dock

Kayaking intensives allowed for a focus on enhancing the children’s functional skills including gross motor, balance and coordination in an environment which also encouraged the further development their social, communication, self- regulation and motor planning aspects of learning.

It was a great way to learn and a pleasure to see how much the children enjoyed being out on the water!

Why intensives?

Splash intensive are a fun and enjoyable way for children and young people to participate in something new and build on skills they have learnt throughout Term. Evidence shows that blocks of therapy are better than distributed therapy. Daily Blocks of therapy allow children and young people to develop skills that can be built upon each day to achieve a goal in a shorter period of time.

Rebecca Bacusmo is a Splash physiotherapist working with children and young adults in aquatic, land and Telehealth physiotherapy. She is passionate about helping children learn and develop functional skills to assist them in participating in meaningful activities in everyday daily life at home, school and their communities. Rebecca has daily aquatic sessions available at two private swimming schools in Moonee Ponds and Greensborough, Melbourne, combined with daily home, school and Telehealth sessions and sports and recreation intensives over the school holidays.


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