Guest Post: Sporting Events for People with Disabilities

Guest Blogger BIO:

Naomi Esterly is a mother, wife, volunteer and freelance writer for 1800WheelChair.Com. In her spare time she likes to read, bake and dabble into sports every once in a while. In this guest post she shares some important sporting events for People with Disabilities (“PWD”).

It is increasingly being shown, and proven, how sports defies barriers and is inclusive of all levels of society. Sports have also played an important role in the equality and inclusion of people with disabilities in all areas of life. Playing a sport has a rehabilitating effect on their bodies, but also has given them a voice and place in society. The skill and strength that have been shown by people with disabilities, is truly remarkable and demands respect.

Being confined to a wheelchair is no longer an impediment to participate and enjoy sports. There are many wheelchair sport associations that host competitions and sporting events throughout the year. A wide variety of fun filled and competitive sports for those in wheelchairs are gaining popularity. Wheelchair teams of basketball, tennis, bowling, hockey, football and baseball are growing all over the country giving overwhelming support for people with disabilities.

The National Veterans Wheelchair Games, is the largest wheelchair competition that takes place once a year. Every year, over 500 athletes get together for a week of weightlifting, basketball, quad rugby, swimming, archery and other sporting games. The games go on for a week, and they are an incredibly high spirited event, as each veteran reaches his or her own potential.

The Paralympic Summer Games are one of the most widely known sporting events that host competitions for the disabled. For over 50 years, people with disabilities, from all over the world, have come together to create, what is now, the second largest sporting event in the world. This had a positive impact on the way society thinks about people with disabilities, as well as, improving their own self-confidence and self-worth.

The Paralympic Winter games began soon after. Both the summer and winter events have gained wide recognition and have become parallel to the Olympics. They now take place within two weeks of the Olympics, and they are held in the same country, using the same venues and organizing committee. Since the beginning of the Paralympics, the participation has grown immensely. With more and more countries allowing their citizens with disabilities to participate, the past 2012 London Paralympic games have been the biggest ever.

Now with the large variety of sporting events to participate and compete in, they have the opportunity to prove their full potential. Joining a sports team whether professionally, or as a hobby, has been encouraged by doctors for years, as it is helpful in gaining back physical strength and increasing confidence in a person. This is more so for someone with a disability, as having the support of a group, enjoying the game and improving their skills, is an ideal way of gaining self-assurance.

For anyone who joins a sport, the enjoyment comes from many factors; it could be companion-ship, exercise, connecting with others, appreciation from others or the rehabilitating effect it has on your overall well-being. All seek for value and reap the rewards of physical activity or sports. Who else has a greater need for these positive reinforcements more than people with disabilities?


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