Sports wheel chairs are amazing devices that give freedom to mobility challenged people who might not otherwise be physically able to play sports. These wheel chairs are anything but normal or traditional! They’re built especially for individual sports and are customized to exact specifications so they fit the athlete perfectly.
A sports wheel chair is lightweight, but is constructed in such a way that enables the athlete excellent mobility, stability, turning radius, and responsiveness. These chairs are designed with a low, folding back, quick-release wheels, and no armrests (to allow freedom of movement). Most weigh less than 30 pounds. Some athletes use their sports wheel chair on a daily basis given that these wheel chairs are easy to maneuver and transport.
Do you love to play soccer, basketball, volleyball, rugby, hockey or tennis? Do you love to race or ski? There is a sports wheel chair on the market today for just about every sport. The frames on sports chairs are designed specifically with aluminum frames that will endure strain and impact.
There are three styles of sports wheel chairs:
1) Racers – these amazing chairs are built for speed and weigh less than 20 pounds so you’ll go like the wind. Constructed with a horizontal frame and featuring front wheel cornering traction, a racing wheel chair can be tricked out with paint and emblems to look like a race car. Some racing chairs can be outfitted with a titanium seat frame to reduce the total weight of the chair by 3 pounds.
2) Handcycles – a handcycle looks much like a bicycle, but is customized with handlebars, footrests, and a comfortable seat to meet your physical needs and safety while riding. Handcycles allow you to enjoy the bike trails with your children or for exercise purposes. There are a number of wheel chair sports that employ handcycles as well.
3) Court wheel chairs – the wheels on these chairs often appear to be crooked, but in fact, the wheels angle in toward the athlete to provide excellent agility and maneuverability while on the court. A court chair works well on any court – basketball, tennis, or volleyball, to name a few.
Sports chairs are colorful and trendy and can be used for every day activities in addition to sporting events.
Why are sports wheel chairs important? Athletes, who stay active, despite their physical challenges, are much healthier and more confident than those who choose a more sedentary lifestyle. Research has shown that athletes in wheel chairs enjoy better motor skills, more flexibility, better heart health, better memory, and have amazing cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
Sports wheel chairs are not inexpensive and most times, are not covered by insurance companies. A sports chair can be as low as $500 or as high as $8,000, depending on the sport you want to play. Used sports chairs can be found, but because they’re customized to fit one person, it may be difficult to readjust the fit for a different athlete. However, it’s always worth a try if your budget is limited.
If you’ve never attended a wheel chair sporting event, go! You’ll be amazed at what these athletes can do when outfitted properly.
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