There is a common misconception that being in a wheelchair prevents people from carrying out regular activities like going to work, playing an instrument or taking part in sports. Here at Assurance Mobility, we want to set the record straight as we go over five of the most popular sports that have been adapted for wheelchair users. In fact, some of them are even played at the Paralympics! Read on to find out more…
Thought to be the most popular wheelchair adapted sport, basketball is an incredibly demanding sports at the best of times. In fact, the dimensions of the court and the height of the basket are exactly the same in wheelchair basketball as it is in traditional basketball which means that a lot of effort is required. With this said, the chairs are adapted with 4 or 5 wheels depending on the user’s preference, and there are successful leagues all around the world.
The wheelchair adapted version of tennis follows a handful of the traditional rules as the court is the same size and competitors will use the exact same type of racket. With this said, an adapted wheelchair is utilised in order give players a full range of motion and the ball is generally allowed to bounce twice and even land outside the court as long as it falls on the second bounce.
As a sport that relies so heavily on the legs, it is interesting to know that there are adapted manual or motor bikes that allow wheelchair users to cycle. For example, there is a hand-bike which has users almost lying on the ground and pedalling with their hands, or there is a hand-bike that attaches to a wheelchair for those who want to be more level with traditional cyclists.
Quad Rugby was actually invented specifically for people with quadriplegia and it was created in 1976 by five Canadian wheelchair athletes: Jerry Terwin, Duncan Campbell, Randy Dueck, Paul LeJeune and Chris Sargent. Over the years, the sport has permitted general wheelchair users to take part and the aim is to carry the ball across the court and score goals by having at least two of the four wheels of a chair across the goal line.
Interestingly, fencing was made a Paralympic sport in 1960 and requires participants to possess the same skills as the traditional version: style, technique and precision. The wheelchair is secured into place which allows participants more movement in their upper boy and the ability to develop their agility and reflexes.
Sport can be used for both physical and mental stimulation. After all, a chair can be confining for those who haven’t been using one since birth. Luckily, there are dozens of different ways that wheelchair users can stay fit and certain competitive sports, such as the ones listed above, have been adapted in order to accommodate every member of society. To find out more information, get in contact with the best wheelchairs Manchester has to offer and speak to a member of the Assurance Mobility team today!