Background: Adapted Sports in Brazil started being organized in the 1950’s, with the development of wheelchair basketball. Its organization, however, didn’t influence the training of
Physical Education professionals directly. It started including in its curriculum issues directed to the disabled population from the end of the 1980’s, with norms published by the 03/87 Resolution.
Physical Education courses aimed both to graduation and bachelor’s degrees started offering mandatory and/or optional subjects which encompassed issues concerning the disabled population and their
sports, physical activities, leisure and school physical activities practises. In this context, we aimed to know what comprehension students of Physical Education or related areas have about Adapted
Sports, for, with the development and highlighting it has received in the national scenario from the results obtained in the Paralympic Games, different conceptions may permeate this representation.
Methods: For the data collection, we applied a questionnaire to students who were finishing their graduation in Physical Education or related areas in five public institutions of
higher education in the state of São Paulo in the year 2013-2014. 138 students who accepted to participate in the research were contacted and they signed an informed consent. We used the content
analysis to categorize the answers given by the students to the item “Describe, in the best possible way, the following terms”. “Adapted Sports”, the subject of this paper, was among them.
Results: About the found categories, we observed aspects referring to whom it is addressed and the stablished objective: Any sports which are adapted so that disabled people can
practise them (48.55%); Sports which are adapted to the needs of their practitioners, independently of what they are (23.91%); High performance sports aimed to disabled people (18.11%); Sports adapted
to disabled people aimed or not to high performance (4.34%); Others (5.07%).
Conclusions: What we observed with this data is that there is a movement which understands an adapted sport as one which undergoes adaptation so that people can practise it, not
focusing only on disabled people, even if most highlight the disabled population. Others focus on the high performance sports aspects, such as the Paralympic Games. Historically we know that adapted
sports began with this population, and the development of the perception of the inclusion and of the several needs we find in different populations makes the perception of the forms of practise
enlarge. It is necessary, therefore, to discuss theses aspects in higher education levels so that we can approximate the understanding on Adapted Sports, which may influence the professional