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Jamal Subin
Jamal Subin

Whales And Wheelchair Basketball

Stephanie Wheeler (born in Norlina, North Carolina on January 16, 1981) is an American wheelchair basketball player who was on two gold medal-winning Paralympic teams. She also played on the gold medal-winning team at the 2007 Para-Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro.[1] She received her degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois and is working on her doctorate in sports education from the University of Alabama.[2] As of 2010 she is head coach of the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team,[3] and will return to the Paralympic games in Rio in 2016, now as a coach.[4]

Whales and Wheelchair Basketball


At age 6, Stephanie became paralyzed after being in a car accident[5] that took her mother's life.[4] As a child, she was an active participant in T-ball and gymnastics,[4] and she wanted to remain active despite her paralysis.[5] At age 12, she joined her local adaptive sports club that only offered one sport: wheelchair basketball.[5]

Several years later, she attended a sports camp at the University of Illinois, where she was able to compete in wheelchair basketball on a larger scale than her hometown of 1000 people in Norlina, North Carolina. Spending time at the university exposed her to what she could achieve if she worked hard and received good grades. As a result, she applied and eventually became a student athlete at the University of Illinois. During her time as a student athlete, she won three national championships in wheelchair basketball.[5] In 2004, she graduated with a degree in kinesiology.[6]

After undergraduate school, she relocated to the University of Alabama, where she received her master's degree in adaptive sport and pedagogy. While she was a student there, she helped grow their new wheelchair basketball program.[6]

Stephanie retired from wheelchair basketball as a player in 2010 but wanted to continue her involvement in the sport. The position of head coach at the University of Illinois opened up at the same time as her retirement, so she applied for and received the job. The success of her program at the university led to her being named head coach of Team USA.[5]

In the United States, thousands of children under the age of 15 use wheelchairs. Just like their peers, children who use wheelchairs benefit from playground activities and having fun with their friends. All kids need to play to develop crucial lifelong skills, get the exercise they need and build relationships, regardless of their ability level. An accessible and inclusive playground allows children with limited mobility to have equal amounts of fun, side-by-side with their peers, which is vital for their overall well-being.

An accessible and inclusive playground offers a variety of equipment and challenge levels, so children of all abilities can play, develop and grow. Accessible playgrounds feature wheelchair-friendly access routes, so kids can reach the play area with ease. Accessibility is a critical component in playgrounds for the following reasons:

Kids who use wheelchairs can enjoy many of the same outdoor games that their peers can play with a few modifications. For example, a lot of outdoor play activities can be enjoyed sitting down for children with disabilities, rather than standing up, or with the assistance of a peer. No matter what, it helps if caregivers plan inclusive play activities, so they can make the necessary adjustments and ensure the activities are both challenging and fun. Here are 10 fun play ideas for kids in wheelchairs to inspire your next playground outing:

Basketball can be a wonderful game and physical education activity for children in wheelchairs because it can be played sitting down, and it provides a great workout. It also gives kids a chance to build teamwork skills and overcome challenges together. Teachers and parents can adjust the rules to make it easier for children to participate. Here are some tips:

Kids who use wheelchairs need to build their upper body strength, and one way they can do that is to practice throwing balls with a game like Through the Hoops. Through the Hoops is a game idea provided by the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC). This game can be a fun calorie-burning muscle-building way for children in wheelchairs to compete with their peers.

Bean bags are a handy accessory worth bringing to the playground. You can encourage children to toss bean bags to each other from different pieces of playground equipment. For example, a child in a wheelchair might throw a bean bag up to a friend at the top of the slide, and wait to catch the object at the bottom. Kids can also use bean bags to toss them through a target like a hula hoop or piece of cardboard with a hole cut in the center.

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Sinet An, who was born with a disability, is the star of Cambodia's women's wheelchair basketball team, which celebrated their first win in an international tournament just before the pandemic hit. With Cambodia in lockdown, she hones her skills in virtual practice sessions from her home in Chuuok village in Kandal province. Above: a practice session on June 24. Cindy Liu for NPR hide caption

Sinet An had never touched a basketball before 2013. The key to her success: "train again and again and practice again and again, to be better and better." Because of pandemic lockdowns, she can only practice at home. Cindy Liu for NPR hide caption

Basketball is hardly a cure-all for challenges like employment or mobility. But as the ICRC has observed in other countries, basketball does sometimes change the way people with disabilities see themselves.

Paraplegia News (PN) has been a leader in the wheelchair community of pertinent practical news and information. PN Online (PNO) is an extension of PN and easily accessible on the internet. We are dedicated to bringing the very best of real-time, up to the moment news and information for wheelchair users, family members, and medical professionals on the go.

The hotel has a therapy centre, called TeraLava, where you can book a range of treatments such as massages. Plus there is a sports hall where you could play sports such as Boccia or wheelchair basketball if you wish.

To get to Teide you have to drive on a winding road that is cut into the side of the mountain. As you drive through Teide National Park there are many places where you can park up to enjoy the view, which I highly recommend. We hired a wheelchair accessible car so that we could drive up there ourselves. However, you can also get there on tourist coaches or an excursion with LeRo.

There is good wheelchair access around the park with smooth paths that go everywhere. However, the paths to some of the animal enclosures were on a fairly steep slope, which made things a little bit strenuous. At the animal shows the accessible seating is in a good position so you get a good view. Especially in the orca arena as I was sat literally just a few feet away from where the Orcas came up.

The paths around the pyramids and the gardens were paved concrete and pretty easy for wheelchairs to get around. The only problem may be that some of the paths were fairly steep which could pose a problem for manual chair users.

The Shogun was far from ideal though. Firstly, there was a step to get onto and off of the gangway when boarding the boat. So four crew members had to lift my chair over the step and onto the boat. Then there was another step to go from the front to the middle of the boat, and another to get to the back. It did have a toilet just about big enough for my wheelchair to get into though, but my chair had to be lifted over a small step to get into it.

A veterinarian with that nonprofit conservation organization came out Tuesday along with a wildlife biologist from the Alaska Whale Foundation in hopes of getting a close enough look at the wandering whales to confirm the type of encumbrance and whether the animal is injured, Cordaro said.

This time of year, humpback whales typically migrate from their breeding grounds in Mexico and Costa Rica to Northern California to feed first on sardines and anchovies and later on krill, said Doreen Gurrola, assistant director of education at the Marine Mammal Center.

Who can play wheelchair basketball?Wheelchair basketball can be played by anyone who is able to push a wheelchair. As a club we are able to cater for male & female players of any age from absolute beginners to elite athletes.

What is the cost to train with London Titans?There is no cost to come along and try wheelchair basketball initally. If you wish to attend regularly you can either pay 5 per session or 72 for the year.

Do I need to have my own basketball wheelchair?We are able to loan basketball wheelchairs to new members. Wheelchairs are available at all our training venues although it is advisable to contact us prior to coming along to ensure we are able to meet your needs. 350c69d7ab


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