One of the decisions at this year’s Congress in Toronto was to look into developing Wheelchair Ultimate. This program could be introduced by building on activity that already exists and by approaching local adaptive sports organizations and seeking to incorporate Ultimate into their current activities. We have heard of small leagues in New Hampshire and Montreal, and we would like to see if it is feasible to support a broader initiative. We are now looking for information on any current activity that may exist. We would also like to hear from anyone interested in the project willing to work with their local adaptive sports organizations.
For example, the University of New Hampshire in the USA has a wide range of intramural sports activities for their students and Northeast Passage (an organization affiliated with UNH) offers a wheelchair option under their intramural program. For three weeks each season they play Wheelchair Ultimate. They play on an indoor basketball court with teams of six. For last semester, per league coordinator Chandler Bullard, they had six teams signed up, one being from the UNH Ultimate team. The Ultimate team wasn't very skilled in the chairs at first but they made up for it in their disc skills. UNH may be unique in that they have about twenty wheelchair court chairs (chairs designed for sports) and play a full range of sports. Not many schools/organizations have access to enough chairs to play a team sport like Ultimate. The players that participate are about 1/3 wheelchair users and the other 2/3 are able bodied. Chandler commented that “It’s a great dynamic that gets every day people in chairs and having a blast.”
Here is a link to several videos:
WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch stated: “The first step for us is to ascertain what already activity exists, to then see what support resources there are in the adaptive sports organizations, and then develop a program for how WFDF can support this. We believe that introducing Ultimate into the adaptive sports community seems like a natural fit. Other team sports have programs (e.g. basketball, American football, rugby), so we can learn a lot from what is already being done. If we feel we can move forward with this, it will be handled under the WFDF’s Sport for All Commission.”
There are a variety of national and international adaptive sports organizations, including:
Please contact Volker Bernardi, WFDF’s Executive Director, if you have information on any current programs or are interested in working on this initiative under firstname.lastname@example.org .