Getting outside matters! But it can feel overwhelming to embark upon an adventure, or trying a new sport, without skills, training and knowledge. We hear of many Magic Mobility powerchair users actively participating in all kinds of therapeutic recreation around the world. Our chairs provide no barrier to participation, access or performance.
So, we’ve taken a closer look at some different organisations around the world that provide therapeutic recreation in the USA, UK and Australia.
There are all kinds of training and support offered in building the confidence and physical skills needed to participate in a wide range of sports and outdoor recreational activities. From skiing and golfing to biking and hiking, today people are participating in activities they previously thought were impossible.
The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) has defined therapeutic recreation as the use of treatment and recreation services to persons with illness or disabling conditions. It’s all about getting outdoors to try something new.
“Therapeutic recreation has a place in the treatment of diseases,” said Dr. A Ronald Peterson, PT, DPT, GCS, program director of Physical Therapist Assisting at South University, West Palm Beach in the US. “It doesn’t just help treat sedentary lifestyles, but also other conditions which plague the population.”
There are therapeutic outdoor recreation programs for children, elderly persons, military veterans with disabilities, and people requiring mental health services.
Getting outdoors is good for you!
Disabled Sports USA offers sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent disability. Activities include water sports, summer and winter competitions, and fitness events. Participants include those with visual impairments, amputations, spinal cord injury, dwarfism, multiple sclerosis, and other neuromuscular and orthopedic conditions. One of Disabled Sports USA’s programs is Warfighter Sports, which offers sports rehabilitation programs to wounded military service members. This includes those injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The Disabled Ramblers in the UK prides itself in “helping mobility challenged people get back out into the countryside.” They ramble in all weathers and over a variety of terrain. The rambles are graded according to difficulty. They spend a lot of time researching routes and working with the authorities to improve access. About 30 rambles are run each year across England and Wales – mostly from March to October.
Disability Sports Australia has a wide variety of sports and outdoor activities that it supports its members to participate, such as wheelchair Aussie Rules, dance-sport, basketball, rugby and tennis.