Adaptive sports include many different types of games for those who use a wheelchair for mobility. Team sports include softball, basketball, quad rugby, and power soccer. Veteran games and competition for veterans are very popular throughout the country. Serious athletes compete in Paralympic Games.
Great strides have been made in adaptive sports over the last few decades, with many of them being written about here in our blog. One sport that we haven’t covered recently was bowling.
The organization that has supported many of the advances in the sport of adaptive bowling is The American Wheelchair Bowling Association. The organization is comprised of over 500 members and growing. They’ve helped many people enjoy a sport that they love with the use of specialized adaptive equipment, including ball ramps, ball grip handles and ball pushers. Their most recent national event was the 56th Annual AWBA Tournament held at City View Lanes in Fort Worth, Texas. Visit the AWBA events page for more information.
What started out as a team-building exercise to the Cleveland International film festival quickly became a possible look into the future of our industry, a reaffirmation of how life can change in an instant, and a renewed appreciation for how passion with a positive optimistic outlook can drive people to do the unimaginable.
The film “Re-engineering Sam” chronicles the journey of quadriplegic Sam Schmidt, an Indy race car driver who despite a crash in 2000 that rendered him a quadriplegic, never lost his hope or passion to drive. Throughout the movie you are drawn to Sam, his family, and their very honest portrayal of everyday vulnerabilities. Sam’s incredible drive to race and be a part of the racing industry has had an impact on everyone close to him. It would, inevitably, be the impact that Sam had on a fan, that would make his dreams of driving a car again come true.
Almost 20 years ago Dave Trude was injured in an industrial accident that shattered his T11 vertebrae. He instantly lost the use of his legs, but did not lose his adventurous attitude. Dave had sailed competitively since he was a teenager, but knew continuing this may be difficult from a wheelchair. He quickly learned about the little known sport of Blokart racing, and since then has become one of the top competitors in the world!
In 1996 Jesse Billauer was one of the top 100 junior surfers in the world, and just weeks away from turning professional. Then in an instant, he was thrown from a wave head first into a shallow sandbar. The impact broke his 6th vertebrae. It has been Jesse’s mission ever since to help others living with paralysis to chase their dreams.
In 2002 he started the Life Rolls on Foundation to help improve the quality of life for young people affected by spinal cord injury. They host events all over North America teaching children adaptive surfing and skateboarding. After a summer of events from coast to coast, they will host their 13th annual “Night by the Ocean” fundraiser in Santa Monica, CA.
Every year when March rolls around, basketball takes the center stage. The NBA playoffs are right around the corner, and the NCAA tournament is in full swing. Later this month the best wheelchair basketball teams from all over America will meet in Louisville for their own tournament.
The 2017 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, March 30-April 2. In total, there will be 96 teams from six different adult and junior divisions competing.