Paralympic Sport Club
Adaptive Sports New England’s Paralympic Sport Club programs support athletes who have visual or mobility impairments with camaraderie among Para sport athletes and with specialized coaching that complements and enhances their community, school or college sport experiences. We currently operate Paralympic Sport Club Boston swimming and track & field programs seasonally for athletes ages 6 and up who can self-propel and participate in group training. 1:1 instruction is available for beginners on a limited basis with the objective of all athletes participating in the Paralympic Sport Club group training as quickly as possible, whether they are members of a school/community/college team or not.
Adaptive Sports NE is collaborating with local partners to create one or more Paralympic Sport Club wheelchair basketball teams for the 2017-18 season. Team(s) will play both within Greater Boston and against teams from other northeast states. Adaptive Sports NE encourages and supports participation in area sled hockey, wheelchair rugby, and power soccer teams run by Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers and Northeast Passage as well as the Para rowing programs at Community Rowing, Inc. Paralympic Sport Club Boston collaborates with Connecticut clubs based at Hospital for Special Care in New Britain and Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford. See the NE Adaptive Sport Programs page for a listing of New England Paralympic Sport Clubs and other adaptive-sport-specific organizations conducting competitive and recreational sport programs for youth and adults who have visual or mobility impairments.
Adaptive Sports New England anticipates establishment of Paralympic Sport Clubs in 3-5 additional New England cities in 2018.
Training & Technical Assistance
Adaptive Sports New England provides group training and customized technical assistance on inclusion of athletes who have visual or mobility impairments in existing community, school and college sports. Presentations to coaches, athletic directors, school nurses, community organization boards and youth groups capitalize on the life experience of all presenters and participants to generate solutions to real life inclusion challenges. Adaptive Sports NE experts also provide phone and on-site consultation on creating an “Inclusion Solution” for coaches and staff seeking to provide the best support to specific athletes on their teams. We will also assist schools, colleges and community organizations in creating programs such as wheelchair basketball leagues where athletes with and without impairments can play alongside one another without disadvantage to any of them.
Competition Program Development
Adaptive Sports New England designs and supports competition and program structures that enable teams, leagues, conferences and associations to include athletes who have visual or mobility impairments in existing programs. Our work with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) created Para swimming and Para track & field competition categories at the respective MIAA divisional, sectional and all-state championship meets; while these same formats facilitate inclusion of student-athletes with visual or mobility impairments in competition throughout the high school season. Adaptive Sports NE is collaborating with the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), NCAA and U.S. Paralympics to establish and populate Para swimming and Para track & field categories within the respective ECAC Championships and at other intercollegiate competitions beginning in 2017-18.
We will also continue a multi-year project with the Bay State Games to facilitate inclusion in its competitions, and we are partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs across Boston on the expansion of wheelchair basketball for youth with and without disabilities.
Promotion & Communications
Adaptive Sports New England communicates to and educates current athletes, potential athletes, families, relevant professionals, other constituents, and the public on the availability and benefits of Para sport programs in New England. Our regional calendar highlights Para sport training group practices and competitions as well as selected adaptive recreational sport opportunities from the region’s top Paralympic Sport Clubs. The monthly newsletter informs constituents of outstanding performances by local athletes, coverage in local media, upcoming activities, local stories and the outstanding adaptive sport programs in Boston and beyond. We present at conferences, fairs and expos for professionals and end users with the objective of increasing awareness of the many opportunities throughout New England both within inclusive and adaptive specific programs alike. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well.