Athletes Roll recently had the opportunity to watch a great event on the Southern New Hampshire University campus. SNHU’s Campus Recreation, in conjunction with Northeast Passage, hosted an open gym afternoon of court sports. On this day, the SNHU students would be playing ultimate. The wrinkle was that they all were playing in wheelchairs. Events like these help raise awareness of adaptive sports and provide an opportunity for able-bodied and disabled people to play together in the same game. The adaptive version plays nearly identical except the players move around in a special court wheelchair and is played indoors on a basketball court.
While we observed and took pictures, a steady stream of students came to the gym to give it a try and enjoy pizza. Not quite as easy as it looks when they first sit in the chair and try maneuvering the wheelchair while catching and throwing a frisbee. If lucky enough to catch it, they then had to get down the court and over the goal line to score. Some misses, some crashes, but many smiles as they navigated their way around the court.
Andrew Doyle of SNHU Campus Recreation is working hard to bring many adaptive experiences like this to the SNHU students. He did pretty well as he joined in on the fun. Danny, who works at Northeast Passage and is on their competitive sled hockey team, seemed to be a natural at ultimate as well. The close relationship between SNHU and Northeast Passage here allows SNHU’s students to fill the wheelchairs NEP brings for a hands-on athletic experience.
Northeast Passage, based on the University of New Hampshire campus, hosts many competitive teams, recreational sports, and options like this one for their students. It is great to see these two universities come together to bring awareness of adaptive sports to a broader audience. We encourage all students and athletes to check out these opportunities when you can. You’ll have fun, appreciate what an adaptive athlete goes through to compete, and know you’ll take away an experience you won’t soon forget.