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For Spaulding patients, adaptive sports and recreation activities are incorporated into the rehabilitation program and continue when patients return to the community. Patients are encouraged to explore new activities as well as return to activities they enjoyed before their illness or injury. Participation in sports and recreation can speed the recovery process, and it shows patients that their disability doesn’t have to keep them from an active and enjoyable lifestyle.
Spaulding opened its first adaptive sports programs in Boston and on Cape Cod in 2001 and expanded to the North Shore in 2009. Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers are open to all individuals in the community who are living with disabilities. Staff members help each participant find the most appropriate activities for his or her interests, capabilities and needs.
Children and adults can participate in Spaulding Adaptive Sports programs under the supervision of adaptive sports professionals as well as Spaulding therapists, providing the perfect environment to try a new sport or get back to one you have always loved. Our trained staff will help identify activities most appropriate for each participant, based on his or her capabilities.
Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers:
- Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Boston – The Dr. Charles H. Weingarten Adaptive Sports & Recreation Program is based on the main campus of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The program was founded in 2001 and was named in memory of the late Dr. Charles H. Weingarten, former Medical Director at Spaulding Boston. Land and water based adaptive sporting opportunities are offered year round.
- Spaulding Hospital Cape Cod (Sandwich, MA) – The Spaulding Cape Cod Adaptive Sports program was founded in 2001 with a grant from the United States Golf Association (USGA) to develop an adaptive golf program now called “Back in the Swing.” In 2007, the programming was expanded to include land and water sports across Cape Cod. Land and water based adaptive sporting opportunities are offered year round. The newly formed McGraw Center will be opening at Nickerson State Park in Brewster in the Summer of 2017.
- Spaulding Outpatient Center Salem (Salem, MA) – Spaulding Adaptive Sports brought programming to the North Shore area in 2010. Land and water based adaptive sporting opportunities are offered year round.
Sports activities vary by the season and location and include:
- Therapeutic Horseback Riding
- Indoor Rock Wall Climbing
- Outdoor Rock Wall Climbing
- Stunt Kite Flying
- Therapeutic Drumming
- Seated Cardio Aerobic Classes
- Wheelchair Dance
- Wheelchair Basketball
- Sitting Volleyball
- Alpine (Downhill) Skiing
- Nordic (Cross-country) Skiing
- Sled Hockey
- Adaptive Ice Skating
- Outrigger Canoeing
- Stand-up Paddling
- Water Skiing
- Sport & Spirit Weekend
- Other General Programs
Leadership and Expertise
Spaulding therapy staff, along with adaptive sports professionals, encourage patients to explore a range of activities. This process is incorporated into the rehabilitation program, and continues once patients are discharged back to the community. Exposure to new leisure activities, as well as re-introduction to activities enjoyed prior to illness or injury, speeds the recovery process and demonstrates that living a full and enjoyable life is within reach.
Current and former patients, as well as individuals with living with disabilities in the community, are given opportunities to participate in a range of recreational activities. All activities are supervised by trained staff, taking into account individual needs and abilities. Equipment can be adapted as necessary and patients are encouraged to utilize newly developed skills and techniques acquired through rehabilitation.
Mary Patstone is the Spaulding Network's Director of Adaptive Sports and Recreation. In 2006, Mary joined the staff of Spaulding Cape Cod. During her tenure at Spaulding Cape Cod, she was instrumental in forming Spaulding’s vibrant adaptive sports and recreation programs serving Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts. In 2011, Mary became Spaulding Rehabilitation Network Director of Adaptive Sports and Recreation.