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.
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.
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 — www.accessport.org — 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
www.kathyhandley.com – email@example.com Kathy donates all proceeds from Birds of Paradise to organizations that sponsor sports for all children and parents.
- Millcreek mom to hike Grand Canyon in memory of son (goerie.com)
- Wheelchair-Bound Youth Hockey Players Defy Disabilities (dfw.cbslocal.com)
- Bike ride to benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports (vttoday.com)
- Disabled Veterans Use Adaptive Sports in Rehabilitation (veteranstoday.com)
- Disabled Vets Experience Miracles on Mountainside (veteranstoday.com)