Adaptive Sports for the Handicapped

This Guest Post is from my friend, and writer, Kathy Handley.  Some hikers know that one man hiked the Appalachian Trail blind (guided by a seeing-eye dog). I’ve also heard that volunteers help the handicapped hike. Here’s Kathy (in ski picture with grandson Eric) to enlighten us about adaptive sports.

Eric Handley, Adaptive Sports

The Joy of Adaptive Sports, written by Kathy Handley

Unlike so many of you cool hikers, I’m no expert on hiking or adaptive sports but I’ve witnessed the joy on the faces of persons with special needs who participate in sports. They might use specially designed equipment or they may be assisted by family and friends or both.

On a personal level, and,  as the pictures indicate, my grandson, Eric, a medically fragile quadriplegic, has had many opportunities to feel the rush of wind on his face and the thrill of a 5K race running with his peers and the joy of flying down a snow-covered mountain. Because many of you readers are accomplished in hiking and other sports, I thought you might consider volunteering for a population that needs a bit of a help and encouragement. There are many opportunities –  some as simple as inviting a friend along for a hike and pushing his wheelchair.

Yesterday the Special Education Parents Advisory Council from Duxbury hosted a skating party for parents and children. The Bog, a rink in Kingston, donated the ice time. Folks were pushed in wheelchairs, in regular metal chairs,and assisted by friends. Everyone loved having Tommy Sogin, Youth Hockey Ambassador and Stanley Cup Bruins champion and mascot Blades along for the fun.

EricEric Handley

Below you’ll find a list of places where our special needs friends have fun and you’re welcome to think of more on your own.

Best Buddies Basketball

Track Team Inclusion – Duxbury Middle School. Request inclusion at your local school.

Wheelchair Racing – lots of 5K and longer races  everywhere

Ice Skating – The Bog, Kingston, MA and Armstrong Rink, Plymouth, MA

Hiking with Assistance on Trails –lots of accessible trails available

Rock Climbing –  REI

Adaptive Skiing-Loon Mountain, NH

AccesSportAmerica — — founded to further opportunities for this very special population

Let’s remember, boys and girls and adults love adventure! Let’s all go out and have fun!

Kathy Handley, author of Birds of Paradise, a Novel and A World of Love and Envy, Short Stories, Flash Fiction and  Poetry  Kathy donates all proceeds from Birds of Paradise to organizations that sponsor sports for all children and parents.

Published by Ray Anderson

Hiker and writer. Have hiked the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, The Long Trail (Vermont), and some of the Continental Divide Trail. My trail name is "HAMLET." Have written three hiking novels (thrillers). The first one, "THE TRAIL," was traditionally published in 2015. My second hiking thriller, "SIERRA," released Oct 2016. Book three in my AWOL hiking-thriller series, "THE DIVIDE" releases from Turner Publishing 8/18/2020.

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