Awareness for sports participation for persons with a disability is definitely on the rise, and there are many centres with adaptive sports programs currently being run across Canada, as well as the United States. Whether it be kayaking, hand cycling, skiing or snowboarding, these programs encourage persons with a disability to discover new abilities and confidence through sports participation and outdoor recreation.
For example, the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program in British Columbia is a not-for-profit society that provides year-around, recreational programs for people of all ages with disabilities. Their participants range from locals to internationals who want to learn and achieve sports participation and even excellence, as well as gain independence, self-motivation and self-confidence.
Just one of many in the USA is very special program called “Higher Ground” which is operated in partnership with the American Department of Defense, major military medical centers and veterans organizations. Located at the Sun Valley Adaptive Sports Centre in Ketchum, Idaho, USA, “Higher Ground” serves men and women of the armed forces who have been severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Whether or not sport is your focus, how about just staying active no matter your ability. The Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability (ALACD) promotes Canadians with disabilities to lead active and healthy lives as well. Through their leadership and encouragement, like-minded active living opportunities are supported through their network of over 500,000 contacts.
So, not only are adaptive sport and outdoor recreation programs more available for persons with disabilities, participation is indeed increasing because of it, there is more funding than ever before (with much more needed), more sponsors, and more volunteers currently involved.
It doesn’t matter if a person just wants to go out and have fun in sport, become a Paralympian, or just live an active lifestyle, there is a way for them to get involved, get out there, and be healthy!
Active Living Alliance for Canadians With a Disability (ALACD)
Adaptive Sports Foundation (Canada)
Adaptive Sports Foundation (US)
Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
Contact SIRC for more information on sport for persons with a disability!