“It's part of life to have obstacles. It's about overcoming obstacles; that's the key to happiness.” - Herbie Hancock
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For individuals with mobility impairments, overcoming obstacles—figurative and literal—occur all too often. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), 15% of the world’s population is affected by some form of disability. Recreational activities offer a variety of benefits, such as relieving stress, socialization, boosting self-esteem and strengthening bodies. While sports are the most common type of recreational activity that comes to mind, recreational also involves art, music, reading, puzzles, darts, bowling, and nature. Participating in nature-based recreational activities is especially ideal for those with reduced mobility because outdoor environments are uninhibited by spatial limitations and barriers. Activities such as fishing, shooting, and archery can be appealing to those who love sports and being in nature.
Check out some of these organizations for recreational activities!
Turnstone Center For Children and Adults with Disabilities, Fort Wayne, IN
Since its inception in 1943, the Turnstone Center For Children and Adults with Disabilities has served the needs of its clients by offering adult day services and therapy, childcare, health, and wellness. The center offers programs in wheelchair basketball, power soccer, goalball, golf, and wheelchair tennis. Additionally, the Turnstone Center touts a fitness center, a warm-water therapeutic pool and the option to use a personal fitness trainer (Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer) and an open track.
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Nationwide
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing offers over 200 programs in all 50 states. The organization is “dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.” The first step is to contact the appropriate local organization via the website. You will be required to take a class, meeting or outing to help you prepare for fly fishing. Once you have completed the prerequisite, you continue learning the essentials of fly fishing and attend fly fishing events!
Fishing Has No Boundaries, Hayward, WI
This organization “provides recreational fishing opportunities for all anglers with disabilities regardless of their age, race, gender, or disability.” FHNB consists of 27 chapters in 13 states, with membership levels at $25 (“Sharing A Dream”), $150 (“Angler’s Friend”), or $500 (“Corporate Angler’s Friend”). Additionally, the website provides eligibility criteria for the Ekstrom Scholarship.
Disabled Sports USA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing disabled individuals with opportunities to develop independence, fitness, and confidence through a myriad of sports, community, and educational activities. Disabled Sports USA has a network of over 120 chapters in the United States. Recreational activities highlighted on their website include: rafting, surfing, cycling, archery, and sailing, to name a few.
Be sure to utilize the resources your community may have to offer! Call your local community center to inquire about current and upcoming classes, or contact the local college to ask for information in physical education or support groups that can help you in your quest for wellness and leisure!
Image credit: Photo by Audi Nissen on Unsplash