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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

Sports and the Wheelchair Bound

Anywhere you go, those who make use of wheelchairs continue to enjoy the competition and fun that wheelchair sport has to offer. More and more wheelchair users actively engage in sports - even on a professional level. A good number of wheelchair sports associations and gaming opportunities exist in many countries. The following are a few examples of what gaming opportunities are available to the wheelchair-bound.

Probably the most common wheelchair sport is wheelchair basketball. Wheelchair baketball started in 1946 when the US Veteran's Association adopted the game as a rehabilitation program for disabled veterans. From there the game spread throughout the world, gaining increasing interest and patronage. Today, there are international level competitions, including the Paralympic Games, and the Gold Cup.

Different variants of wheelchair basketball have been developed, each great fun to play. Some even have low, netted rims that revert the ball to players without their having to chase it down. A lightweight professional sport wheelchair is essential for playing wheelchair basketball.

The Paralympics added boccia (pronounced Botcha) to its line up in 1984. The wheelchair version of boccia is played either indoors or outdoors by two opposing players, pairs or teams of three armed with either blue or red balls. A white target ball or jack is thrown at the start of the game. Each side or team (red or blue) takes turn to propel their ball as close to the white jack as they can. At the end of each round, a referee measures the distance of the balls closest to the jack and awards one point for each ball that is closer to the jack than the opponent's closest ball.

Quad rugby combines elements of wheelchair basketball, ice hockey and handball. It is a mixed game where men and women compete in the same team. Today quad rugby is played in more than twenty countries around the world including Canada, the USA, Australia and Great Britain and is a Paralympic sport.

In quad rugby, two teams play against one another and each team can comprise of a maximum of 12 players, 4 players play at any one time. The offense endeavors to carry the ball past the line that determines the opponent's goal, while the defense endeavors to prevent them from reaching their goal. Physical contact of wheelchairs is common, however, players are not allowed to have physical contact.

Power soccer is commonly played across all the major counties in the world. Here, electric wheelchairs are used by players. These electric wheelchairs feature foot guards that allow players to play with soccer balls and maneuver them around the court and other players. Two opposing teams must each have 4 players playing at a time. The 4 includes the goalkeeper.

As each wheelchair sport tends to use specific types of wheelchairs, a variety of sports wheelchairs can be found on the market. Wheelchair accessories include belts and harnesses, gloves, drink holders and special back supports. Prosthetic devices are also available for amputees. So, being confined to a wheelchair need not keep you from enjoying any or the majority of sporting activities.

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