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 its annual Wheelchair Games. This year the event takes place on September 20—and marks the milestone 35th annual Games.
Every fall, 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.
Wheelchair athletes participate in separate divisions for Futures (six years of age and younger), Juniors (ages seven through 21) and Adults. There are a variety of events, including table tennis, a slalom obstacle course, javelin, shot put, discus, club throw, softball throw, and 60, 100, 400, 800 and 1,500-meter races.
Beginning at 9 a.m. there will be field, table tennis, a slalom (obstacle) course. Track events start at 1:30 p.m.
Registration is $25 and includes an event t-shirt, lunch and a goody bag. Financial assistance also is available for those who cannot afford the registration fee, as Burke encourages all athletes to participate in this event, regardless of their ability to pay.
Interested in volunteering? The Wheelchair Games is produced entirely by volunteers, which includes Burke employees as well as people from the community. Volunteers help with any number of activities, from registration to food distribution to assisting the athletes. People from civic groups, schools, religious organizations and other associations are welcome—as well as individuals or families looking to give of their time for a worthwhile cause. All event volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and lunch and must be 12 years of age or older.
If you would like to volunteer at this worthwhile event, please complete the volunteer registration form and return it to Michael Ragnetti, via fax at (914) 798-4183.
For more information, call the Wheelchair Games Hotline at (914) 597-2850. If you have questions about classification and/or the athletic events, please contact Ralph Armento, meet director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (732) 422-9094.
To download the registration forms and for more information, click here.