Living With A Disability: Sports
Although a physical disability may restrict some aspects of an individual's lifestyle, the area of sports does not need to be so affected. While disabled people may not be able to take part in every sport, a number of organisations and leagues have been set up that encourage participation and competition within disabled sport and events such as the Paralympics are well-known. Disabilities may complicate sporting activities, but luckily, sporting equipment is available to make a range of sports available to the disabled.
Cycling is popular, both as a casual activity and as a competitive sport and a number of adapted bicycles are available that allow for disabled individuals to get involved. For example, wheelchair users can utilise a hand crank to speed along and it is through this method that many disabled cyclist competitions are born.
Hand cycles are useful devices, similar to a tricycle but operated with the arms rather than the legs. Hand cycles for disabled individuals are available for both young and old. A blind person, meanwhile, could cycle in tandem with an able-bodied person. While this provides less independence for the disabled individual, it does mean that the cyclist is offered plenty of support while cycling.
Horses, Guns and Fish
Specially adapted facilities allow disabled people to shoot as a hobby. Ranges so adapted have fixed-firing positions set up, which disabled people can access with a wheelchair and then manoeuvre within to hit targets with firearms. Aside from this, shooting is much the same for disabled people as for able-bodied individuals.
Disabled people will get the same thrills from a day angling as any able-bodied person. Angling allows people to socialise, practise a sport, enjoy the outside world and even catch a meal and is great for developing motor skills too. Since angling takes place sitting down, less specialist equipment is needed for this particular sport.
Horseback riding isn't going to be for everyone, meanwhile. Disabled riders may enjoy the independence, competitiveness and even the risk that horse riding brings, but even for able-bodied riders, horseback riding can be dangerous and lead to bad falls. Heavily disabled individuals may find the idea of getting into a saddle prohibiting from the start and so horseback riding is not a sport that is accessible for all. Disabled individuals who do ride, find it develops muscles and posture, which may, in the long run, help their physical condition.
Team sports are popular with disabled individuals who use wheelchairs and hand cycles and many disabled people play in specialist leagues, designed to bring together teams of this kind. These established organisations cater for teams of both genders, as well as different age groups, including children. Team sports that are ideal for wheelchair-based play include basketball. Wheelchair basketball is an intense, fast and competitive game, which is represented on both a casual and more professional level.
Specialist equipment designed to adapt sports to the disabled has appeared across a range of other sports, too. For instance, disabled golfers can utilise golf carts that are adapted to their needs, while disabled individuals, depending on their conditions, might try their hand at water-skiing or even scuba diving.
This guest post was written by Francesca on behalf of All Ability Cycling. Francesca is a freelance writer and blogger who enjoys writing about a variety of subjects relating to health and fitness.