Sports for Different Kinds of Disability

by | Aug 19, 2021 | Latest

Sports is a great way to stay active, but it can be challenging to have a disability. It’s not uncommon for people with disabilities to feel left out or don’t belong in sports. This article will discuss the different types of disability and what sports are most appropriate for each one!

Wheelchair Basketball

Wheelchair Basketball is a sport for athletes with lower-body disabilities, typically cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries. It was initially developed in the 1970s by a University of Illinois rehabilitation specialist named James Naismith to provide wheelchair users organized games that would be more stimulating than just sitting on the sidelines while non-disabled players engaged in the game.

A player of wheelchair basketball is known as a “basketball player” or “wheelchair athlete.” The object of the sport, which was initially called wheelchair basketball back when it began, is to propel (or shoot) a metal hoop with an attached net mounted on wheeled poles into either one’s own or opponent’s goal.

Para-Athlete Athletic Abilities:

The Paralympics is an excellent place to start when looking for sports that are geared toward disabled athletes. The games offer para-athletes (a person with a disability who competes in athletic competitions) to compete against others of the same level and ability, as all participants have disabilities that keep them from competing in regular sporting events.

The Paralympics are broken down into five categories for athletic competition: amputees, people with cerebral palsy, visually impaired athletes, and more. Each type has its own set of sports that the participants can compete in during the games.

Athletic Abilities (Paralympics):

Amputees can compete in the 100 and 200-meter races and pick from any of the field events that require running (long jump, triple jump).

  • People with cerebral palsy who are ambulant have a more comprehensive range of potential sports activities. They can choose from all track and field events except the high jump, long jump, and triple jump. They can also participate in archery, swimming (freestyle), canoeing, and kayaking.
  • Visually impaired athletes are often categorized as a separate group from para-athletes because they have different needs for sports equipment that other disabled people do not need to consider. In the Paralympics, there are specific sports that visually impaired people can compete in, including swimming (freestyle), shooting, table tennis, and equestrianism.

Blind Golfing

Blind golfing is a sport that has been created for blind people. It’s played just like regular golf with one exception- you are not allowed to use any sighting equipment, such as sighted caddies or guides. Blind golfers must rely on the sound of their ball’s impact and the feel (rough or smooth) of the grass and ground to know where they are on the course.

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Adaptive Skiing/Snowboarding

The sport of adaptive skiing and snowboarding is designed for people with physical disabilities. This includes amputee, paraplegic, quadriplegic, or visually impaired athletes who use equipment such as sit-ski (skis operated by a harness) to maneuver the slopes. The most common form of disability in this field is spinal cord injury.

Adaptive Bowling

People with physical disabilities can also participate in bowling, which is a sport that includes the use of modified balls and pins. To create an adaptive lane for people who are physically disabled or have low motor skills, modifications such as ramps to help push the ball down the alleyway and bumpers at either end of the lane are needed.

Adaptive Cycling

Another sport for people with physical disabilities is cycling, which can be done on a tandem bike with the front or rear seat removed, so it’s easier to access and balance. As well as adjustments made to bikes themselves, there are also adaptive bicycles specifically designed for those who have limited mobility in their hands or feet.

Paralympic Swimming

The Paralympic Games are a competition for disabled athletes. The games were first created in the wake of World War II as an event to help rehabilitate and provide employment opportunities for those who had been injured or maimed during battle. In 1948, there were only eighteen participants from six countries at London’s Stoke Mandeville Hospital; by 2018, that number has grown exponentially, with over 4200 competitors representing 160 different countries across 23 sports categories, including swimming! This year’s Beijing was host to 78 medal events: 22 gold medals (including four team relays), 25 silver medals, and 31 bronze Medals.


To sum it all:

Sports are for everyone. The message of sports for all is an international movement to ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunities in physical activity and sport. Sports For All was founded by Werner Pichler, a man who had cerebral palsy but loved running marathons. He realized he couldn’t compete against non-disabled runners, so he created a running event for athletes with disabilities in 1980.

Sports and recreation are essential because they can help people of all ages work on their fitness goals and improve confidence. For example, wheelchair basketball is a good exercise that helps increase self-esteem among those with limited mobility or who use wheelchairs to get around.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body for sports and recreation for athletes with disabilities. IPC organizes participation in a range of summer and winter Olympic-type events, including skiing, swimming, wheelchair racing, boccia, powerlifting, and more! The ranges of disability they cater to are as diverse as the sorts of events they hold.




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