The big day is only about a week away! On Sept. 24, Burke will hold its 37th annual Wheelchair Games, a much-anticipated event for wheelchair athletes as well as friends, families, and the community. When it was introduced nearly four decades ago, the event was one of the first of its kind—and today the Wheelchair Games is still known for its spirit of inclusion, welcoming wheelchair athletes of all ages and abilities.
Burke’s beautiful 61-acre campus is the ideal setting for a day that exemplifies sportsmanship, camaraderie, and resilience. The Wheelchair Games provides disabled competitors with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability in a variety of track, field, and table tennis events. It empowers participants to build strength, coordination, endurance and self-confidence by being active and competitive in an entirely supportive atmosphere.
“Although our annual Wheelchair Games are a competition, we emphasize camaraderie, encouragement, and inclusion for participants of all ability levels,” says Richard Sgaglio, Ph.D., senior administrator at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital. “It’s also an unforgettable experience for children and other members of the community to be inspired by the tenacity of the athletes.”
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+. Beginning at 9:00 a.m., there will be field events, table tennis, and a slalom (obstacle) course. Track events start at 1:30 p.m. A new development is that this year Burke is adding precision toss and high toss field events open to the following classes: F31, F32, and F51.
Morning event winners will be awarded during lunchtime, track event winners will be awarded after all races have been completed.
The regular registration fee is $25 and includes an event t-shirt, lunch and a goodie bag. Financial assistance is available for those who cannot afford the fee—and all athletes are encouraged to participate.
Admission is free for spectators and the public is encouraged to attend. In addition to watching the exciting sports competitions, the Wheelchair Games will feature carnival games, musical entertainment, and raffles. The event is produced entirely by volunteers, including Burke employees as well as community members from civic groups, schools, religious organizations, and other associations.
For further information about the Games, please call (914) 597-2850. For questions about classification and/or the athletic events, please contact Ralph Armento, meet director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (732) 266-2634.
To download the registration and volunteer forms, visit our website.