The Seton Brain & Spine Recovery Center’s Adapted Sports Program is designed to provide physically challenged individuals with the opportunity to participate in various sports and fitness programs. Individuals do not necessarily have to be permanently confined to a wheelchair to participate in our programs.
The basic principle involved in the adaptation or modification of a sport or activity for the physically challenged is to retain the essence of the original activity. The rules of adaptation for wheelchair sports depart only as much as necessary to account for the specialized equipment used during the activity. In this way, the participant has an athletic experience similar in all aspects to that of someone without a physical disability.
For more information about the Seton Brain & Spine Institute Recovery Center Adapted Sports Program, please contact Mike Haynes at 512-698-1472 or email him.
The Value of Adapted Sports
There are universally acknowledged benefits to involvement in sports and recreational activities. The primary focus of the Adapted Sports program is to improve the participant’s functional fitness level. Additionally, the program provides opportunities to enhance total quality of life by providing psychological and health-related benefits.
For a newly injured person who may feel isolated, participating in wheelchair sports provides social interaction and a sense of belonging to a group with a positive image. Self-esteem and a sense of value are significantly enhanced through simple inclusion in these programs. Participation in the activities also provides a healthy support system of people with common interests, goals, and desires.
Super Sports Saturday
Seton offers a monthly program designed so physically challenged youths of Central Texas between the ages of four and 21 can participate in many sports and fitness-related activities. Specific activities include bowling, swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, conditioning, tennis, basketball, football, track and road racing.
Special events such as Camp Xtreme and the Big Bream Fishing Tournament, as well as group outings to SeaWorld, Six Flags, and Round Rock Express and Texas Rangers games are also scheduled throughout the year. These activities allow participants the opportunity to increase their strength, endurance, sporting skills, and awareness of the physical fitness necessary for the transition into our competitive team programs.
Track and Field
Athletes who excel in the Super Sports Saturday program are encouraged to participate in the Recovery Center’s track and field conditioning program. The program aids in the development of good pushing techniques and increasing functional strength and endurance. Athletes have the opportunity to qualify for Junior and Adult National Championships.
The Austin Rec’ers adult wheelchair basketball team was established in 1987. The team trains two days a week and competes in tournaments in Texas and other states. The Recovery Center has also developed women’s and junior’s wheelchair basketball teams. Athletes who excel in junior wheelchair basketball are encouraged to participate in the adult teams. They also have the opportunity to receive a college scholarship to play wheelchair basketball at selected universities such as the University of Texas at Arlington.
Wheelchair tennis can assist in the development of hand-eye coordination as well as wheelchair mobility, and Austin has a range of options for those who want to participate. Some play just for fun while others travel around the world competing on a professional level. The Recovery Center offers a program on Tuesdays from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Austin Tennis Center and the Grey Rock Tennis Club offers a program on Saturdays at 11 a.m. Both operate on a weather contingency. Athletes can qualify for state and national ranking through the United States Tennis Association (USTA). In the USTA’s inaugural year of national wheelchair tournaments, four of the top seven ranked girls in the Junior Division, including the number one spot, were from Austin.
The Adapted Sports Program provides opportunities to participate in other seasonal activities including adapted SCUBA, river rafting, fishing, snow skiing, camping, softball, and football tournaments.
The Adapted Sports program staff obtained degrees in Therapeutic Recreation, Kinesiology or Exercise Sports Science. Staff members have years of personal and professional experience adapting exercise programs for people with all types of disabilities including spinal cord injuries, orthopedic injuries, cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders. Individualized exercise programs are designed and supervised by staff to address the client’s current physical condition, needs and goals.
The Adapted Sports program offers various volunteer opportunities – from assisting people in the Recovery Center as they work out and gain greater independence to serving as a counselor at Camp Xtreme to help kids with disabilities have the time of their lives. If you’d like to discover what it’s like to help people of all ages with physical disabilities experience many activities for the first time, then we are the place for you. Please give us a call or email us.
Please contact us for information on internships.