A variety of adaptive sports provide barrier-free recreational and competitive opportunities for people of all skill levels and age groups, as well as their family and friends. The athletic programs run year-round and include wheelchair basketball, soccer, hockey, cycling, golf, swimming and more. Equipment is available to borrow for a nominal fee, such as: hand-cycles, sport wheelchairs, bi-ski, mono-skis, and bowling equipment. Social outings include movies, dinners, or concerts.
A membership fee of $50 per year is requested to help offset program and equipment costs. Members receive reduced rates on activities, special events, and equipment loans.
Adaptive Rock Climbing
Open to anyone 4 years old and over with some upper body strength. This program is for beginners and advanced climbers. We have the belayers…we just need the climbers!
The location of the program changes throughout the year In the Winter months we climb at Central Rock Gym in Hadley-165 Russell St. Hadley, Mass. In the Spring, Summer, Fall, we climb at Camp Shepard in Westfield Mass on their brand new outdoor rock climbing wall.
Disability Resources wheelchair basketball is a recreational team. We play pick-up games for fun on a weekly basis at PACE School, 69 Capital Drive, West Springfield. Regular practices with some drills take place along with occasional games with community groups for charity. Wheelchair basketball is designed for people with decent upper body strength, as we play with a regulation basketball hoop. We would like to develop a competitive team at some point, but until then, we are working with the Worcester team to encourage our members to play with them. We use all court or sport chairs donated from the Newman’s Own Foundation. Manual chairs only. We supply chairs if athletes don’t have their own. Wheelchair basketball takes place December through March depending on interest. Open to children and adults.
Adaptive bowling takes place at Shaker Bowl, 168 Shaker Road in East Longmeadow. We have several bowling ramps with balls with no holes to use on the ramps. Volunteers assist by retrieving balls if participants are unable to lift them from the ball return themselves. We have access to light weight balls for those who are ambulatory and want to play. Staff are trained to help with visually impaired athletes as well. Bowling takes place year-round. Open to children and adults. Only $2.75 per game.
Our accessible cycling takes place on the Norwottuck Rail Trail at 8 Railroad Street in Hadley for 8-10 weeks in the summer. Instruction, adaptive equipment, and assistance are provided if needed. We have a wide range of bikes ranging from traditional two-wheel bikes, recumbent three-wheel bikes, various hand cycles, tandem bikes, push trikes, and duets. Participants are welcome to bring their own bikes as well. Pre-registration is a must. Call All Out Adventures at 413-527-8980 to register for a one-hour time slot. The best place to park is on the lawn closest to Route 47. The fee is $3 a week. Adaptive Cycling is run in collaboration with the Department of Recreation and Conservation (DCR) Universal Access program, All Out Adventures (AOA), and Disability Resources.
WMass Dance & Movement offers a dance class for children ages 5 through High School. Classes take place throughout the school year at Pace School in West Springfield. Classes are taught at an appropriate pace for participants. We encourage independence, but if you need one-one-one help, that’s OK – we just ask that you bring someone to help you. We our partners with Ohana School of Performing Arts in South Hadley, MA. We perform with them in their Holiday Show, End of Year Recital as well as their Charity Performances. Throughout the year we also perform at various functions in the community.
Goalball is a paralympic sport for the blind that uses a ball with bells inside. Three people play on a team. Athletes play on their hands and knees, so this games requires participants to have good physical ability. Participants wear knee and elbow pads and eyeshades. It is helpful if participants can supply their own protective equipment because our supply is limited. Goalball takes place at PACE School, 69 Capital Drive, West Springfield. There is no particular season for Goalball. We play depending on participants’ interest, but we would like to have it become a more regular and even competitive sport for Disability Resources. Players ages 8 and up.
The Golf for All People (GAP) program meets at Fenway Golf at 112 Allen Street in East Longmeadow. GAP is designed to serve people who like to golf. We have two adaptive golf carts and several sets of golf clubs made for people who use a wheelchair. LPGA golf pro Susan Teitel provides instruction and assistance. GAP is open to beginners through experienced golfers. Participants need to be able to hold and swing a golf club. We do have some adaptive gloves that can aid you in keeping your hand(s) on the club. GAP costs $10 per week (golf balls included). GAP takes place during the Summer.
Martial Arts, regardless of a physical or intellectual disability, the sport is a GREAT way to get exercise while building strength, improving coordination, flexibility, and making new friends! Some upper arm strength is required. The program is located at the Center for Martial Arts & Fitness, 22 Center St, Chicopee, MA. When: Tuesdays 6:00 pm-7:00 pm-Spring and Fall programs. Participants: For Ages 4-21; Anyone with a disability or physical impairment can participate. Must have some mobility in arms or legs.
All members of Disability Resources are welcome to participate in social activities. We encourage members to be social and meet new people. We try to go out to dinner once a month somewhere affordable and accessible. We try to choose restaurants on the PVTA bus line. Participants pay on their own. We also have movie theater outings, card games and pizza, etc. Periodically, we pull together a like-minded group of participants for regular meetings for several weeks, such as the Young Adult Program.
Swimming takes place at Springfield College, where participants are paired up with a student (usually from the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation) for one-on-one assistance. It is not a therapeutic pool. Floatation devices are provided if needed. There is a small fee for the program, which culminates in an aquathon fundraiser coupled with a celebration for participants. Swimming is a 10-12 week program held in the evenings. Participants must be continent or wear protective swimwear.
Sled hockey is an exciting ice sport that allows individuals with physical disabilities to enjoy the great sport of hockey. It is very similar to “stand-up hockey” in terms of concept and rules. The main difference is that instead of standing up to skate, participants sit on their skates using an adaptive device known as a sled, which is affixed with two skate blades and a runner in the front to form a tripod. The other main difference is that in sled hockey, participants use two shortened hockey sticks with a blade on one end and a pick (similar to the end of a figure skate) on the other end, which enables them to propel themselves across the ice much like in cross country skiing. Hard checking, elevated puck shooting, and 60-mile an hour slap shots are as much a part of sled hockey as they are in “stand-up” hockey.
Anyone with a disability that would prevent them from participating in “stand-up hockey” is a candidate for sled hockey. It is a sport that allows players with mobility limitations & lower limb mobility impairments to play, and requires great upper-body strength, balance, and the ability to handle the puck. Even able-bodied individuals enjoy the sport of sled hockey and can play on a team.
Sled Hockey takes place on the Springfield Thunderbird’s home ice at the MassMutual Center.
If you are between the ages of 5-16 years old, you can join the Western Mass Knights Junior team.
Players 17 years & above, the Western Mass Knights is the team for you. The Knights were created in 2009 as a team for the young adults who aged out of the Springfield Sliders but still wanted to play competitively locally.
We play in the Northeastern Sled Hockey League. All players (including juniors) need to become members of USA Hockey in order to play in the league.
The teams rely heavily on in-kind and financial donations because each player is specially fitted to their equipment. Ice time and sleds are purchased by the program and members pay just a small fee to play for the season: Adults $265; Children $165. We try to keep the costs low for participants who may be facing financial hardship due to medical expenses and the cost of living. Donations are always welcome.
CHD’s Disability Resources is open to everyone – especially those who have served our country. We are willing to work with a Vet’s Organization or a group of Vet’s to create a Veteran specific program. This could be an ongoing program or one-time event. If you have an idea or want to start a discussion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jess at 413-788-9695.
Winter Skiing & Water Skiing
Snow and water Skiing takes place through the Leaps of Faith Adaptive Skiers (LOF) organization. The water-skiing program is held in Sandy Hook Connecticut a few times a year in the warmer months. The winter skiing takes place during the week a few times in the winter on Mount Southington in CT. The program’s include mono-skiing, bi-skiing, sit skiing, blind skiing, 3-track skiing (winter), and 4-track skiing (winter). We try to make it work no matter what the participant’s ability. All adaptive equipment is available, but pre-registration is required. Disability Resources also has some ski equipment available to loan to members who wish to ski on their own.
Interested in skiing more or somewhere else? Check out this website which covers a whole range of options across the USA and Canada: https://www.vouchercloud.com/resources/adaptive-skiing-resource