Moscow native Olga Khokhryakova is a second-year graduate pupil in Community Health Promotion on the College of Arkansas. However she’s already contributing to her area in the way in which a younger school member may.
Khokhryakova, a Fulbright Scholar, created an internet platform referred to as SameSport, which connects folks with and with out disabilities via shared sport actions. Her objective is to cut back stigma and prejudice, whereas enhancing social inclusion. She’s linking varied fields within the College of Education and Health Professions, together with train science, rehabilitation counseling, and public well being.
In 2017, Khokhryakova launched the primary database of sport golf equipment for folks with disabilities in Moscow. After shifting to Northwest Arkansas in August 2019, she introduced the idea together with her. Her long-term plan is to have SameSport chapters in each nation.
Khokhryakova developed the undertaking with assist from the Social Innovation Initiative on the Workplace of Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the U of A’s Walton Faculty of Enterprise. She’s collaborating with former Russian athlete Anastasia Samoylova, who has participated in sports activities for people who find themselves deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Khokhryakova does not have a incapacity however was impressed to create SameSport after attending the Paralympics Video games in Sochi in 2014. There, she noticed blind folks mountain snowboarding and folks with bodily disabilities confidently maneuvering snowboards, for instance.
She believes that inclusion is a two-way course of.
“Social inclusion will not be a charity act with together with somebody who’s excluded. All of us are liable for the standard of a society we reside in,” she mentioned. “For example, analysis reveals that always one of many fundamental boundaries for youngsters with mental disabilities to be actively engaged in sports activities is an perspective locally in the direction of them. As a consultant of the bulk, I really feel it is my accountability to behave, and to take part in constructing a brand new regular.”
Khokhryakova mentioned some of the efficient methods to cut back stigma and prejudice is to play sports activities collectively, the place contributors have frequent targets and should cooperate with each other.
“Sports activities are acknowledged by the U.N. as an efficient instrument for improvement and peace constructing, in addition to its contribution to achieve Sustainable Growth Objectives by 2030,” she mentioned.
Earlier than coming to the U of A, Khokhryakova was an award-winning journalist with 9 years of expertise. She has a bachelor’s diploma in journalism and a grasp’s diploma in social historical past from the Larger College of Economics in Moscow. She’s participated in a number of prestigious academic and change applications, together with applications with the Clinton Basis World Initiative College, the Eurasia Basis and the Worldwide Heart for Journalists.
Khokhryakova wasn’t positive what to anticipate coming from Moscow, the capital metropolis of Russia with greater than 13 million folks, to a small college city in Arkansas.
“At this time I can say with confidence that I personally and my undertaking by no means grew as quick as this final 12 months on the U of A,” she mentioned. “That is because of my Group Well being Promotion program — particularly to my professors Dr. Leah Jean Henry and Dr. Robert Davis — in addition to the Walton Faculty of Enterprise, particularly the director of the Social Innovation Program on the Workplace of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Dr. Rogelio Garcia Contreras.”
This story is the newest in a collection referred to as the Dean’s Spotlight, that includes excellent college students within the College of Education and Health Professions. Go to COEHP’s on-line journal, the Colleague, for extra information from the six items that make up the Faculty. Go to the Health, Human Performance and Recreation web page for extra data on COEHP’s Group Well being Promotion program.