Keep Warm This Winter – Disability Sports & Where to Get Involved

Staying mobile and getting involved in community activities is one of the best examples of the freedom that having a wheelchair converted vehicle brings to wheelchair users. If you are looking for a new sport to kick off your winter training, here are a few options for wheelchair users around Victoria:

Wheelchair converted vehicles allow you to self-drive and participate in community events such as wheelchair rugby, just like our friend Naz Erdem (pictured right).

Wheelchair converted vehicles allow you to self-drive and participate in community events such as wheelchair rugby, just like our friend and Murderball champaign, Naz Erdem (pictured right).

1. Wheelchair AFL

Play the Aussie game against other competitive wheelchair users across Victoria and Australia! You can test your skills in some of the year round events, or get involved at a club level. The game is played 5 a side with adapted rules on a basketball court, and is great for building strength and agility. If you are looking to get involved, or to find out the rules to start your own game, you can find more details here.

2. Wheelchair kayaking

Wheelchair converted vehicles give you the freedom to enjoy sports adapted for disabled people

Wheelchair converted vehicles give you the freedom to enjoy sports adapted for disabled people

Para-canoeing made its first Paralympic appearance at the 2016 Rio Paralympic games, and since then, has been gaining popularity at a grassroots level.

Every state now has a para-canoe club, and the sport can be played competitively or recreationally. It is an excellent way to build up aerobic endurance and strength for all ages and ability levels. To get involved, email Australian Canoeing at info@canoe.org.au, or call Canoeing Victoria on (03) 8846 4120.

3. Wheelchair rugby

Invented in 1976, wheelchair rugby is not for the faint of heart! Just ask Murderball champion Naz Erdem; 5-time Olympian, dual Gold Medallist, long-time friend of Automobility and all-round legend!

Originally labelled “Murderball” because of the physical, fierce nature of the game, collisions are a frequent occurrence.

Wheelchair Rugby AKA Murderball; not for the faint hearted!

Wheelchair Rugby AKA Murderball; not for the faint hearted!

Open to people of all age levels who have an impairment that affects both legs and arms, wheelchair rugby can be played at a local club level, right up to world championships and Paralympics. For more information, or to get involved, contact Disability Sport and Recreation on (03) 9473 0133 or visit http://www.dsr.org.au/

4. Wheelchair basketball

Wheelchair basketball is one of the oldest and fastest growing sports for people in wheelchairs. As one of the foundation sports in 1960, wheelchair basketball has a long history of competition and involvement for both men and women.

The game is played on a full-size basketball court with standard height hoops, and is popular amongst both men and women. For more information, visit http://www.dsr.org.au/

5. Wheelchair dance sport

It’s true – everyone really can participate, and having a wheelchair converted vehicle makes it easier to get all your loved ones there.

Wheelchair dance spot is rhythmic, graceful and elegant, involving both wheelchair users and able-bodied partners. Being launched in 1960s as part of rehabilitation programs, it is also one of the older wheelchair sports.

It can be played competitively, with two wheelchair users or a team, or as a hobby. Australians frequently compete at the World Wheelchair Dance Sport Championships. The sport is managed in Australia by Disability Sports Australia, P: +61 2 8736 1221 E: info@sports.org.au

6. Adaptive Mountain Biking

Adaptive mountain biking is the perfect sport for the thrill-seekers and solo sportsmen out there! This sport involves the use of hand-cycles and modified bikes to race up and down outdoor mountains against other wheelchair users. There is currently only the opportunity to get involved recreationally, as there is currently no world championships or Paralympics presence. To find your local mountain biking club, visit the Mountain Bike Australia Directory: http://www.mtba.asn.au/directory/

These are just some ideas of a huge variety of adapted sports out there. If you’re not too sure what sport to get involved with, Victoria’s Disability Sport and Recreation have set up Score!, a platform that allows wheelchair users and those with disabilities to search for local adapted sport opportunities, such as swimming, surfing, rugby and more. The service helps you decide what you might like, and lets you know how to get involved. You can find more details at their website: http://scoredsr.org.au/

Adaptive Mountain Biking

If travel is more your style – Automobility recently wrote about our top aeroplane travel tips. Or, if you’re more a cheer from the sidelines type, read about how our founder is racing for a cure for MND.

At Automobility, our vision is to see every person at any ability level enjoying life. We manufacture custom wheelchair converted vehicles, including passenger and drive from wheelchair options to give you the freedom and independence you want.

Call us today on 1800 662 454 and book in a demonstration at a time and place that suits you.

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