Self-esteem, social integration, endurance, and overall health… Who would say no to that? Those are just a few of the benefits of adding sports and physical activity into your lifestyle. As awareness and accessibility have grown, being a wheelchair user is no longer something that keeps you from joining a sports league.
Below we’ve explored a few sports that have been modified to accommodate wheelchair players, and we’d encourage you to consider getting involved. Not only will you improve muscle strength, cardiovascular health, and motor skills, but team sports are a great way to interact with other disabled people in a safe and supportive community.
- Wheelchair Basketball:
- The size of the court, height of the basket, and the size of the ball are the same as a regular professional court.
- The differences are in the regulations, for instance, traveling is considered to be when an athlete touches his or her wheels more than twice after receiving or dribbling the ball.
- Wheelchair Tennis:
- The court dimensions and the height of the net are the same as those of professional tennis.
- The only difference is that in wheelchair tennis, the ball is allowed to bounce twice.
- Electric Wheelchair Hockey:
- Rather than playing on ice, electric wheelchair hockey is played on a basketball court.
- A plastic stick is used instead of the traditional wooden stick because they are lighter and easier to maneuver when also controlling wheelchair motion.
- The goalie cannot sit and hold the puck.
- Wheelchair Racing
- High-tech chairs allow athletes to reach speeds of up to 30 km/h.
- There are 3 different ways you can position yourself in your chair: kneeling, feet forward, or an amputee sling.
Other fun options include fishing, rugby, yoga, dance, mountain biking, and sit skiing.
In the Raleigh and Wilmington areas, there are a variety of wheelchair sport organizations including:
You can also contact your State Rehabilitation Department or local disability organizations to see if they can put you in touch with other sport leagues. At Van Products, we love seeing the growth of wheelchair sports opportunities and we encourage you to stay active! What is your favorite way to stay active and healthy?