World wheelchair sports

25 years of

fitness on a roll

 
 

a brief history of World Wheelchair Sports


Founded in 1990, World Wheelchair Sports (WWS) is a small but effective non-profit organization based in Eugene, Oregon.  It's mission is to help those with mobility impairments discover independence by providing outdoor recreational experiences and competitive athletic opportunities.  


More specifically, our goals are:


To promote the concept that physical fitness is essential for everyone;

To facilitate independent movement for all people with disabilities;

To provide outdoor fitness opportunities for people with disabilities;

To promote and improve the skills of athletes with disabilities;

To help wheelchair users access a lifestyle that is as active as possible.

  

World Wheelchair Sports is founded, organized and run by people with disabilities.  Many of our members are young people who were active in sports and athletics before a traumatic injury made using a wheelchair a necessity.  Others were born with disabling conditions or are older persons who have suffered from a stroke, amputation or arthritis.  Whatever the nature of their physical challenge, they discover through our programs the excitement and exhilaration of independent movement.  For many of our sailing program participants for example, there is a notable increase in self-esteem and confidence when they find themselves independently on the water along with able-bodied sailors.  Several of our junior wheelchair racing alumni have gone on to win Olympic and Paralympic medals and set world and national records.  Participation in these healthy activities is often a catalyst for many other positive improvements in the quality of life.  Since our founding, our programs have included wheelchair competitions (such as the wheelchair events at the Prefontaine Classic, the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials and the annual Oregon Wheelchair Track Championships), racing camps, fitness clinics, outdoor adventures, sports expos and junior sport camps.


In 1995 we expanded our programs to include the first disabled sailing program (disAbled sailOR) in Oregon. In 1998 we began the Wheels In Nature (WiN) program featuring muscle powered outdoor adventures, like adapted cycling, kayaking and cross country skiing. Since 2002 WWS has coordinated wheelchair events for the Oregon School Activities Association. In 2009 we helped create the Adaptive Ducks Sports Club at the University of Oregon. The skills learned in our programs help disabled persons compete in the real world and teaches them how to handle challenges throughout their lives.


The WWS athletics program has produced many Olympic & Paralympic medalists and numerous world and national records. A statewide equipment pool has been established by World Wheelchair Sports to provide sport wheelchairs to students participating on the team of their school. Youth with physical disabilities seek the same school experience as all students. When the student with a disability is able to join an athletic team of a school, she/he often becomes an inspiration to everyone. We see sports as a way to bring the many diverse sections of our population together.


Our athletes and programs have been featured on local and national television shows and in publications such as the Oregonian, the Register Guard, Oregon Cyclist, Runners World, People Magazine, Sport n Spokes, Outside Magazine, Olympian, the Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated.


Organizations we have conducted programs for include: the Parks and Recreation Departments of the Cities of Eugene and Portland, Oregon; the Center for Appropriate Transport; Shriners Hospital; The Mesa Arizona Association of Sports for the Disabled; Oregon Disability Sports and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Major sponsors that have supported us through gifts, grants and in-kind donations include: The Autzen Foundation; The Blanche Fischer Foundation; The Boy Scouts of America; The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation; Dance for a Reason - The Edge; Intermediary Services; The Eugene Yacht Club; The Meyer Memorial Trust; Pacific Northwest Publishing: REI; The Gordon Wright-Anne Moffet fund of the Oregon Community Foundation; the Eugene Sailing Center; Sportaid; Sunrise Medical; the Tomodachi Foundation; Triton Yacht Club; Underway, LLC; USA Track and Field; The Umpqua Cow Creek Indian Foundation; United Seating & Mobility; West Marine; the Women's Sports Foundation and Nike.


               


Click on the image at left to download a 4 MB copy of the 20 page World Wheelchair Sports Twenty Year Retrospective Newsletter.  Higher resolution and/or printed copies are available on request.










If you like what you see we encourage you to make a tax-deductible donation by clicking on the secure link to Paypal above or via check and snail mail to WWS, 3552 George Ct., Eugene, OR 97401             

 

3552 GeoRge Court, Eugene, OR - 97401 - (541) 4851860