Staying Active: Adapted Sports for People Living with A Disability

Playing sports and other physical activities has a positive influence on people. Not only do sports improve physical form, but they also have a very strong positive impact on an individual's mental health. This is especially true for people living with a disability as staying active and enjoying recreational sports is also commonly recommended for them.

What Are Adapted Sports?

Adapted sports require minimal modifications which mean people with disabilities can participate in them too. These sports can be practiced as both competitive and recreational depending on the person.

The central characteristic of these sports is that they modify the design of the game and sports equipment. This is done to adapt them to the specific needs required for each sport.

The best thing about this is that virtually all sports can be adapted. When it comes to choosing a sport, the options are limitless. Choose based on what motivates you and what you want to achieve.

Wheelchair Basketball

This is one of the most well-known adapted sports. It’s one of the fastest-growing sports for athletes with a disability and was one of the fundamental sports at the first Paralympics Games in Rome, 1960. The beauty of this sport is that the same rules and standards of basketball apply. This means it takes incredible effort because both the court dimensions and the height of the basket are the same as the classic.

Adapted Hockey

This is one of the most integrated adapted sports because of how people with different disabilities can play it. This sport is practiced in two categories: manual wheelchair and electric wheelchair. Its equipment can be both standard hockey sticks and T-sticks. The athletes have two hockey sticks with metal picks on one end so they can propel themselves.

Adapted Cycling

Common alternatives are manual bicycles or hand bikes. The latter is manually operated and very sporty so they can be used as both recreational and competitive equipment. But modified bikes are also used such as modified tricycles with special seats and handlebars.

The less sporty option is a handbike that attaches to the wheelchair. They can be manual or electric.

Athlete in an adapted wheelchair

Adapted Fencing

It was made into a Paralympic sport in 1960 and has the same rules and standards as regular fencing. The athletes duel with wheelchairs anchored into position on the floor which allows them to move their arms more freely.

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