Helen Hayes Hospital
Route 9W, West Haverstraw
NY 10993
Hand cycle participants in the Helen Hayes Hospital Adapted Sports & Recreation Program
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Adapted Sports & Recreation

Golfer in Adapted Standing Golf Cart at Helen Hayes Hospital, NY

No limitations. 

From sailing to cycling and golf to gardening, the HHH Adapted Sports & Recreation Program is a four-season initiative serving individuals with a range of abilities, interests and skills. Leisure opportunities are an important component of an active and healthy lifestyle, fostering rehabilitation, recovery and camaraderie, and the Adapted Sports & Rec Program is dedicated to offering a range of recreational and competitive events. The program reaches out to current and former patients, as well as individuals living in the community who may be interested in trying out a new activity or resuming a sport or activity they may have enjoyed prior to acquiring a disability. Prior experience is not required to participate in any activity. All activities are supervised by experienced staff, including recreational and physical therapists, taking into account individual needs and abilities.

Adaptive equipment is available and used as necessary for all activities. One element that has contributed to the program’s success is the partnerships it has with numerous sports-related organizations. The hospital’s clinical expertise in working with individuals with disabilities, combined with the organization’s expertise in a particular sport, creates a unique blend of knowledge and skill. The Program is open to individuals with all types of disabilities, including spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, cardiac conditions, orthopedic and neurological disorders. Pre-registration is required for all programs and events. During any sponsored event, any adaptive equipment that is needed will be supplied. Participants are also welcome to bring their own equipment. The hospital also offers an adaptive equipment loaner program and will provide assistance in helping individuals obtain funding for their own personal equipment. For additional information, please contact Peter Gagliardo, Coordinator of the Adapted Sports & Recreation Program at or call 845-786-4950.

Helen Hayes Hospital Adapted Sports & Rec Program NY - Paralympic Sport Club memberHelen Hayes Hospital Adapted Sports & Rec Program NY - DSUSA ChapterHelen Hayes Hospital is certified as a chapter of Disabled Sports USA and is a US Paralympic Sports Club Member.


The Adapted Sports & Rec Program activities include the following:


Accessible Video Game Center:

With the support of the AbleGamers Charity. AbleGamers has fitted HHH’s recreation room with video gaming consoles, games, modified controllers, eye-gaze technology and more, so that individuals of all ages and abilities can experience the fun of playing video games with their friends and family. For information on how to visit the gaming center at HHH, please contact the HHH Therapeutic Recreation Department at 845-786-4196.


In conjunction with the New York Bowhunters Association. We hold an annual clinic on-site to teach the basics of archery to novice and experienced archers interested in learning this sport.


Experienced players help coach novices and all participate in a scrimmage game following drills. Wheelchair basketball to be offered at a local gym, location and dates to be announced.


In cooperation with the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County. Discussion and demonstration on how to incorporate the use of adapted tools and techniques to make gardening possible and enjoyable despite any physical limitations. Gardening from a seated position, getting up off the ground, the availability of adapted devices and how to make accommodations for loss of strength or dexterity are all covered, along with how to amend soil, select, plant and maintain plants.


In conjunction with Bear Hill, Inc. We go to local lakes for accessible fishing. One session is held in June at Bear Mountain Hessian Lake on Free Fishing Day. A fishing license is required for all other sessions.


GolfAbility is an instructional program to teach the basics of golf, and promote golf as a rewarding leisure activity, to individuals with disabilities and mobility impairments. The program helps prevent golfers from giving up the game due to injuries, orthopedic impairments, cardiopulmonary disease, stroke and other age related conditions. Workshops with an LPGA pro and outings are scheduled from May through September. Workshops take place at the GolfAbility center, which is located on the hospital campus. The center consists of a 1300 square foot synthetic putting green with six cups and three accessible netted tee areas. Participants learn how to use appropriate adaptive golf equipment, including single-rider carts. A single-rider cart is a specially equipped golf cart that allows a disabled golfer to play seated or standing, directly from the cart, and can be driven right on to the green.


Hand cycling is an excellent aerobic exercise providing a cardiovascular workout similar to a treadmill or bicycle. It improves endurance and strength while also expanding exercise options for individuals with disabilities. A hand cycle is similar to a bicycle, but uses the arms to propel the cycle instead of the legs. The Hospital is home to Helen’s Angels, a competitive hand cycling team.


An excellent water sport for all abilities. The Hospital provides the kayaks, specialized seating and any other needed adapted equipment. Instruction is provided in basic kayaking skills. The group meets at a local lake, on the shores of the Hudson River, or other accessible location. A pool session is required prior to kayaking with us for the first time.

Power Soccer:

In conjunction with the United States Power Soccer Association. Power wheelchair users of all ages are invited to try out this fast-paced take on traditional soccer. Power soccer is played indoors on a gymnasium basketball court. Using special foot guards attached to their wheelchairs, players spin-kick a 13-inch soccer ball up and down the court in a game that maintains all of the excitement and skill requirements of traditional soccer. Equipment and instruction is provided at soccer clinics. Participants must bring their own power chair.


In conjunction with the Rockland Rowing Association. Participants receive an introduction to rowing, an activity which builds endurance and strength. Rowing is a very low-impact sport that is suitable for people of all ages and abilities, from the young to the old. Boats and adaptive equipment are provided. Recreational and competitive options available.


In conjunction with the Nyack Boat Club. The program offers individuals with physical disabilities the opportunity to learn to sail using adaptive equipment, including specially adapted sonar boats. Experienced sailors from the Club’s Sonar Fleet 23, along with therapists from the hospital, provide an introductory skills workshop and an afternoon of sailing on the Hudson River. The day begins with an informal luncheon and panel discussion on adaptive sailing. Assistance is provided, as needed, for boarding, and one of the Club’s experienced sailors is on each boat, offering instruction and guidance on how to sail.

Snow Skiing:

In conjunction with Mountain Creek. Instructors specializing in adaptive skiing offer beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons. First time students receive an overview of the equipment and fittings prior to getting out on the snow. Adaptive equipment is available for skiers with disabilities. Participants should come attired in appropriate winter/snow clothing.


In conjunction with the United Spinal Softball Team. A comprehensive lesson on how adapted softball is played. Team members bring adapted equipment and participants play a full game. Individuals of all physical abilities, including players using wheelchairs, are welcome to come and play or cheer the players on as a spectator.

Target Shooting/Airsoft:

We offer an annual clinic on-site to teach the basics of airsoft target shooting to novice and experienced shooters. Soft pellets are used and adaptations are made based on individual needs.


Open to novice and experienced water skiers. Adapted equipment provided along with instruction and a day out on the water.


A basic Adapted Yoga program designed specifically for people of varying abilities. Yoga improves circulation, range of motion, flexibility and endurance. It also helps to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. The instructor is experienced in adapting yoga to all levels of abilities. The classes offer an excellent opportunity for people with disabilities, including individuals with stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other physically limiting conditions, to try yoga. Classes meet at the hospital.


2020 Adapted Sports & Rec Schedule

Adapted sports and recreation activities are getting into full swing at Helen Hayes Hospital. These adaptive events, presented by the physical rehabilitation hospital’s Adapted Sports and Recreation Program, provide the opportunity for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities to participate in a large variety of sports and recreational activities on the hospital campus and beyond.


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The Adapted Sports and Recreation Program at HHH is a four-season program that provides access to and education about adaptive sports and recreation activities for individuals of a wide range of abilities. The program is open to both former patients of the hospital as well as individuals with disabilities within the community. Adapted activities offered during the year include gardening, handcycling, skiing, rowing, sailing, kayaking, rock climbing, softball, basketball, yoga, therapeutic horseback riding, and more. All activities are held in the New York Metropolitan region.

For more information about adapted sports and recreation activities at HHH, including event times and locations, or for additional information about the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program at HHH, please contact Peter Gagliardo, Coordinator of the Adapted Sports & Recreation Program at or call 845-786-4950.