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The exciting world of adapted sports for wheelchair users


Sports played by people with a variety of disabilities, including physical and intellectual impairments or disabilities, are commonly referred to as adapted sports. Many of the sports have been modified based on an already existence sport to enable people with disabilities to get involved with sports. However not all adapted sports are based on an able bodied sport, with several having been created solely for those with disabilities in mind of which there is no equivalent sport for abled bodied people.

There are many benefits to playing sport for those with disabilities, such as a feeling of independence, reduced dependency on pain and depression medication, and fewer secondary medical conditions. Playing sport is wonderful for the mind, body and soul.
A wide range of sports can be played by wheelchair users; either solo or as part of a team; on land or in water; and competitively or just for fun. Some involve speed while some involve precision but all involve skill and practise. Sports included in the wonderful world of adapted sports, but not limited to are; mono skiing, wheelchair golf, wheelchair sailing, horseback riding amongst many more enjoyable sports.

The very first para archery competition was held in the year 1948 and was one of the original Paralympic sports back in 1960. Anyone with a physical impairment may take up para archery, which may entail shooting at targets with the use of assistive devices if required. Para archery competitions fall under specific categories for the archers depending on which of the 3 different classifications they fall under.
A hand-cycle offers one of a kind ride for those enabled adrenaline junkies! It is powered rather by the use of arms than a pair of legs and the brakes are found on the handholds. It was developed in the 1980’s to create different means of human-powered transport; ever since it has been rising in popularity. Having been developed in a variety of styles it works well for many different forms of physical disabilities. It was first included in the 2004 Paralympics and has been popular to watch in the games since.
Paraplegic swimming
Paraplegic swimming is a fully inclusive sport available for people with a variety of physical, sensory or intellectual disabilities. Not only is swimming a great means to keep fit but is also greatly therapeutic for those with disabilities. One may not have a great sense of freedom and mobility when in their wheelchair but once they experience movement of their body in the water a sense of freedom washes over them.

Wheelchair basketball.
Wheelchair basketball. 
Wheelchair basketball
Wheelchair basketball is played by athletes with disabilities in the Paralympic Games with the Wheelchair Basketball World Championship played two years after every Paralympic Game. Players take over a standard basketball court using their wheelchairs, while retaining most of the key rules and scoring of regular basketball, and using a 10-foot basketball hoop. Modifications to some rules are due to taking the use of wheelchairs into attention.
Wheelchair dance sport
Wheelchair dance sport is an elegant sport that was started in Sweden, back in 1968, with leisure and rehabilitation in mind, for wheelchair users. Wheelchair dancing is when at least one dancer is in a wheelchair and includes standard types of dancing such as waltz, tango, slow foxtrot, samba, jive and more. This sports comes with a variety of physical benefits, including helping to maintain physical balance, flexibility and coordination among others.  
Wheelchair rugby
Wheelchair rugby began in 1976 and was created by five Canadian wheelchair athletes, as a sport for quadriplegics in mind. It is mostly played between two teams of up to twelve players of mixed female and male players on both teams. The game is played on an indoor court based on the same measurements as a standard basketball court. Players use manual wheelchairs that have been custom-made and specifically designed for wheelchair rugby.
Wheelchair tennis.
Wheelchair tennis. 
Wheelchair tennis
Wheelchair tennis was created by Brad Parks in 1976 and is one of the official Paralympic sports. The sport was adapted for those with lower body disabilities and is played in specially designed wheelchairs. The size of the tennis court, balls and rackets are the same as typical tennis with two main differences; the use of wheelchairs and that the ball may bounce up to two times.
Wheelchair fencing
Wheelchair fencing is a version of fencing for people with a form of a disability that affects their lower body such as spinal injuries, lower leg amputations and cerebral palsy or athletes that require the general use of a wheelchair. The wheelchairs of fencers are fastened into medal frames on the floor and allow movement of the upper body only. The sport was first introduced in 1953 by Dr Ludwig Guttman and became a part of the Paralympic Games in 1960.

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