Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, New York has been named a Paralympic Sport Club. Through it’s Adapted Sports & Recreation Programs, the Hospital has demonstrated its commitment to creating a bridge between sports, physical activity and wellness and individuals with disabilities.
Since 2007, the U.S. Paralympics has worked with local organizations to create a network of Clubs to provide sports and recreation opportunities to individuals with physical and visual disabilities, regardless of skill level. Currently operating in 46 states, the Paralympic Sport Club program helps local organizations reach out to their communities to raise awareness and educate people about the benefits of sports, recreation and competition by individuals of all abilities.
The Helen Hayes Hospital Adapted Sports Program provides a wide variety of adaptive sports including yoga, gardening, kayaking, horseback riding, basketball, skiing and golf, along with other recreational activities. Activities added over the past year include gliding, rock climbing and wheelchair dancing. Upcoming programs include fishing, handcycling, rowing, kayaking and softball. Being a Paralympic Sport Club will allow the Hospital to further encourage the integration of adapted sports events and activities in the community and to host both competitive and non-competitive events for athletes.
Matthew Castelluccio, Helen Hayes Hospital’s Adapted Sports & Recreation Coordinator and Patient Mentor is very excited about this new achievement. “Being a new Paralympic Sports Club Chapter will open us up to an international market, give us new resources and educational materials,” he says. “It will also enable us to reach out to more people with the message that living an active lifestyle is possible, despite any physical limitation.”
As one of the nation’s leading specialty physical rehabilitation hospitals, Helen Hayes established its Adapted Sports & Recreation Program in 2002. The Program has since expanded into one of the most diversified and active programs on the east coast. It encourages people to explore new activities or return to activities they may have enjoyed prior to being injured or becoming ill or disabled. Participation maintains and improves health, speeds the recovery process and fosters socialization and camaraderie.
For additional information on the Helen Hayes Hospital Adapted Sports & Recreation Program, contact Matthew Castelluccio at 845-786-4950.
For additional information on the U.S. Paralympics, visit http://www.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics.aspx