The sports wheelchair has been around for over a half-century, but in the last decade the athletic opportunities for those in wheelchairs have exploded. While it's common knowledge that sports like basketball and tennis are frequently played by those in wheelchairs, there are a number of new wheelchair sports that may still be under your radar.
Sports include more disabled people than ever before. With the latest technology using the lightest materials such as carbon fiber and titanium the user has improved maneuverability and speed.
Popular wheelchair sports that you may see specialist wheelchairs being used in are:
Scuba Diving, Adaptive Water Skiing,
Martial Arts, Skateboarding,
The price of sports wheelchairs vary widely depending on the sport, starting around $1500 and on up. Sponsorship is one way athletes can fund their sports. Many companies are willing to help fund the costs in return for advertising and publicity. This is a win-win situation for the participant and the company.
As I research this “new to me” area, I am learning that there are four different types of chairs designed specifically for sports.
Court Sports Wheelchair
The court wheelchair that is used for basketball and tennis has to have the agility for the quick back and forth movements of the sport. Recent innovations in manufacturing have focused on a chair that has no parts that stick out beyond the frame. This safety design allows for continued play without the chairs becoming caught on each other.
Number two on the list is the racing wheelchair. A racing chair consists of two back wheels and a third wheel in front. Most chairs will vary depending upon the physical requirements and the athlete's abilities. Some may need a strap for their legs, or an amputee may need special adaptions.
Hand Cycle Wheelchair
Third is the
hand cycle wheelchair
, again consisting of three wheels. The user must use their hands to propel themselves.
The all terrain wheelchairs have shock absorbing materials and the ability for a 360 degree rotation to allow for travel over rocky, snowy or sandy ground.
People who hunt,
fish or farm would benefit from this type of a sports wheelchair.
When you think you have heard of all the different types of wheelchairs, think again. There are beach wheelchairs and why not? Accessibility should be for everyone regardless of their mobility.
The beach wheelchairs are unique. They are light-weight, making them easier to maneuver in sand and other soft soils. Extra stability that allows for better cornering and resists tipping come from the four balloon flotation tires. Accessories include a safety belt, umbrella, storage bag, sliding footrest and cushion seat. It is easily disassembled for easy transport.
In today's world anything is possible with the wheelchair.
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