Wheelchair Basketball Program
The Value of an Athletic Experience
It is well documented that compared to their non-disabled peers, individuals with disabilities experience a higher incidence of non-disability related health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and depression (Healthy People, 2010). Additionally, many individuals with a disability report feelings of isolation and social withdrawal. Those individuals participating in an organized sport report these feelings of isolation and social withdrawal to a much lesser degree.
By participating is a sports program research has shown to have many long term benefits, such as reduced stress levels, fewer medical conditions (i.e. decubitus ulcers, reduced blood pressure, improved esteem, increase mobility, increased independence, increase motivation, weight control, increase employment, reduce health expenses.
Currently the number of intercollegiate sports opportunities designed for inclusion of individuals with a disability is extremely limited, with currently only ten universities offering an adaptive sports program.
Starting an Adaptive Sports Program is a natural fit for UNO. UNO has resources readily available and accessible on campus like:
- adaptive recreation
- sport classes
- local junior teams
With the combination of UNO's assets, current programs being offered in the Omaha community, and local world-class wheelchair basketball athletes to serve as volunteers, mentors and role models it is the perfect time for an Adaptive Sports Program at UNO. UNO has the opportunity be a recognized leader in the field of disability- related issues and with the mission of maximizing the independence of people with disabilities.