Wheelchair athletics are on the rise!

Wheelchair athletics are on the rise!
Photo by: Pierre Benker (Stock Exchange)

Good morning, everybody! Welcome to June, and Disabled Travelers’ first news round-up of the new month. Yes, it’s time again to see what’s happening in the world of accessible travel. So relax and enjoy as I tap the newswire and deliver the latest handicapped travel and wheelchair lifestyle info from sources around the globe. And what’s on the dial today? Wheelchair accessible athletics seem to be on the rise, both in the U.S. and around the world! But that’s not all … so let’s get rolling!

From my own home state’s The Suncoast News, one of many outlets you can visit at Tampa Bay Online, an update from the region’s top power wheelchair soccer team, the Tampa Bay Crossfire. They’re aiming for national championship gold in Indianapolis. These young athletes, who range in age from 14 to their mid-twenties, are optimistic and upbeat about their chances for the prize. They train hard, and they want you to know that wheelchair soccer is “pretty much like able-body soccer.”

Courtesy of NorthJersey.com, a little more sporting news. The Ridgewood Run, a full-scale marathon for wheelchair athletes, takes place May 31st. No word yet on the outcomes, but an interesting tidbit of information that all disabled travelers should take to heart: Ernst Van Dyk, a wheelchair-bound athlete, is a nine-time winner in the Boston Marathon, and holds the record of anyone – on wheels or by foot – for first-place finishes in the 114-year old race. Isn’t that amazing?

Wheelchair sports are definitely growing, and as these terrific athletes capture the imagination, accessibility is sure to get more public attention. Whether on the track, on the court, or around the world, there’s nothing we can’t do on wheels! One last example: Texas Wheelchair Championships Celebrates 30th Year, cries the Carrollton Leader. The Texas Open Wheelchair Championship is part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, and you can even see the final matches online!

From sports to the world of wheelchair accessible travel at large, AZCentral.com’s Travel & Explore section offers us Travel QA: Outdoorsy Outings for Wheelchair Users. Great information here on wheelchair accessible attractions, particularly around the Phoenix metro area. AZCentral is a great source of insider tips for the area, and a quick news search brings up all kinds of other relevant information – including a piece on the recent Desert Challenge Games. What can I say, I feel inspired!

The Travel Institute is a website dedicated to awareness and cooperation for travelers and tour operators. There’s plenty of information on a variety of topics, including a few piece just for handicapped travelers and a lot of strong pointers on trip safety, maximizing your relationship with your travel agent, and a bunch more. Though they claim to have been around since 1964, I haven’t seen them around until now, so here you go! Good, bad, or indifferent experience? Let me know – I’m always happy to hear from you!

Finally, Choosing a Special Needs Tour or Excursion. I wouldn’t usually link to a press release, because, well, it’s a press release and not quite as likely to provide well-balanced insight. Nonetheless, this one provides some helpful tips for choosing a tour operator and weeding out the pretenders – and sad to say, there’s more than a few out there who are more interested in your money than your happiness, so swing by.

That’s it for today, but news moves fast and so do I! Expect more soon, and adventure on!


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