Special Events & Programs

Pioneering Rehabilitation

Burke Rehab's Annual Wheelchair Games

Each year, The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital hosts its Wheelchair Games, bringing wheelchair athletes to this very special competition. Burke’s Wheelchair Games gives those with physical impairments an opportunity to stay fit, enjoy sports, and compete. Wheelchair athletes participate in separate divisions for Futures (six years of age and younger), Juniors (ages seven through 21) and Adults. The variety of events includes table tennis, a slalom obstacle course, javelin, shot put, discus, club throw, softball throw, and 60, 100, 400, 800 and 1,500-meter races.

Nearly 60 athletes throughout the tri-state area and as far away as Texas came together for Burke Rehabilitation Hospital’s 37th Annual Wheelchair Games on September 24, 2016. The Wheelchair Games have become a tradition for wheelchair athletes of all ages and Burke is proud to continue to host it for three decades.

This year’s Wheelchair Games trophy recipients are:

Outstanding Novice Male - Aiden Nunes

Outstanding Novice Female - Ava McEntire

Outstanding Junior Male - Trent Clayton

Outstanding Junior Female - Stephanie Marque

Outstanding Adult Male - Ramon Rivera

Outstanding Adult Female - Caitlin Goerlich

Outstanding Master Male - Roger Mutter

Outstanding Master Female - Catherine Evins 

Outstanding Field Male - DeBrandston Davidson

Outstanding Field Female - Stephanie Marquez

Best Slalom Male - Anthony Felix 

Best Slalom Female -Catherine Evins

The 2016 Maureen Ryan-Carr Award, given in memory of the late Burke senior administrator Maureen Ryan-Carr and presented to the athlete who best represented the Games’ spirit, was bestowed upon Nicholas Daponte. The John Lombardi Sportsmanship Award, given in memory of the late wheelchair athlete John Lombardi and presented to the athlete who showed the most determination, was awarded to Joel Tapia.

Burke is grateful for all the athletes who took part in the Games, as well as our many supporters who made the event a great success. We also would like to thank our sponsors for their generosity: PepsiCo, Enable, The Bristal Assisted Living, Sodexo, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick’s of Westchester, Xerox Business Solutions, R. Argento & Sons, Inc, Vitolite Electric Sales Co, Inc., Arthur Gallagher & CO, Bioness, Eagle Capital Mgmt, Keating Electric & Technology.

Burke will host its 38th Wheelchair Games on Saturday, September 23, 2017. See you then!

Save the Date: The 2017 Wheelchair Games will be held on
Saturday, September 23.

For more than three decades wheelchair athletes of all ages from the tri-state area and beyond have headed to Burke Rehabilitation Hospital to participate in the annual Wheelchair Games. This year the event takes place on September 24– and marks the 37th annual games. 

That day, Burke’s campus is transformed into a unique forum for sportsmanship, camaraderie, and determination. The sporting event allows disabled persons to show their ability in a variety of track, field and table tennis events. Sports are known for their therapeutic benefits and the Wheelchair Games help athletes build strength, coordination, endurance and self-confidence, allowing those with physical impairments the ability to stay active and to enjoy the competition.

The Wheelchair Games competitive categories include a Futures Division (six and under), a separate Junior Division, Adult and separate Masters levels at age 35 and older, age 50 and older, and the senior Masters division at age 60 and over. Beginning at 9:00 a.m. there will be field, table tennis, a slalom (obstacle) course. Track events start at 1:30 p.m.

Morning event winners will be awarded during lunchtime, track event winners will be awarded after all track races have been completed.

This year, we are adding the precision toss and high toss field events. These events are open to the following classes: F31, F32, and F51. We encourage athletes to sign up for these events (including the bean bag toss) rather than the traditional shot put, discus and javelin. 

In addition to the athlete events, the Games feature lots of fun for families too!  There will be musical entertainment all day as well as silent auctions and chance raffles.

Entries received by September 2 are entitled to a $5 discount on the regular registration fee of $25.  Your registration fee includes an event t-shirt, lunch and a goodie bag.

Please call (914) 597-2850 if you have any questions about the Games.  If you have questions about classification and/or the athletic events, please contact Ralph Armento, meet director, at ralph461@msn.com or at (732) 266-2634

Become a Wheelchair Games Volunteer

The annual Wheelchair Games is produced entirely by volunteers, including Burke employees and people from the community. These volunteers come from civic groups, schools, religious organizations and other associations. The success of the Wheelchair Games would not be possible without the help of volunteers. 

All volunteers receive a free t-shirt and lunch. Children volunteers must be 12 years old or older.

For more information please call the Wheelchair Games hotline at (914) 597-2850.

Download the volunteer registration form here