Michigan’s Top All-Inclusive Sports Leagues
With the Paralympic Games approaching next month, now is the perfect time to celebrate organizations that make sports accessible to everyone. Just as the competition in Rio is a way for people with different disabilities to showcase their athletic abilities, a variety of recreational athletic leagues in Michigan provide opportunities for local athletes of all skill levels and abilities to have fun and be active.
- Wheelchair Hockey League (floor hockey)
Michigan’s only adaptive wheelchair hockey league, this program provides the opportunity for people in both manual and power wheelchairs to enjoy the physical, competitive fun of floor hockey. WCHL has four teams of both male and female players ages 10 to 60+. Players in this league have disabilities that include Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Arthrogryposis & Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones).
- Michigan Adaptive Sports (yoga, hand cycling, skiing and more)
A local chapter of Disabled Sports USA, this organization provides sports and recreation for those will special needs. Michigan Adaptive Sports offers wheelchair-adaptive summer and winter sports including tennis, basketball, kayaking, hand-cycling, archery and many others. The activities are accommodating to individuals of all ages with amputations, paralysis, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, developmental disabilities and more.
- Michigan Sports Unlimited (basketball, baseball, tennis and more)
Started in 2001 by Brian Sheridan, a former gymnast at Central Michigan University who sustained a spinal cord injury, Michigan Sports Unlimited offers a variety of indoor/outdoor sports and fitness activities for people with disabilities. You’ll find clinics and teams for sports like golf, soccer, rugby, tennis, kayaking and more.
- The Miracle League of Michigan (baseball)
The Miracle League of Michigan provides children with disabilities across the state with a safe, positive environment in which to learn and play baseball. A state-of-the-art, custom-built field ensures wheelchairs and other mobility aids can move easily on the turf. In the spirit of making sports fun, this league offers both non-competitive and competitive leagues. They’ve also recently added bowling and dance programs. Check out their segment on WXYZ-7 to learn more.
- Jewish Community Center of Metro Detroit (summer camps, swimming and more)
The summer camps, year-round social events and sports competitions run by the Jewish Community Center of Metro Detroit are all supportive and comfortable environments for young adults. The JCC also offers field trips, community service projects and arts programs to keep participants active.
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Photo Credit: The U.S. Army