What Is Parasport?
A parasport is a sport that has been adapted for a person having a handicap. It is a parallel sport for athletes that are physically capable, using equipment and modified rules that make a given sport accessible and fun for all. There are some sports that unfortunately cannot be adapted to become a parasport.
There are many different ways of getting involved in a parasport: as a player, as a coach, as a volunteer or as a community supporter who will make the availability of this sport stand out in your community. There are also opportunities for athletes to provide support as a guide to visually impaired participants. Your involvement need not be limited to a single activity as you can always get involved in as many ways as you wish.
When you do get involved, remember that the activity you select is your personal choice regardless of the role you choose and that there will be a vast array of activities to choose from. There will be opportunities that are focused on leisure and opportunities that are geared towards goals you want to reach personally.
Availability of any parasport is often non-existent in a community and your involvement could be critical in getting a parasport established in your community.
Para Pickleball is now being played in different parts of the country. Players in wheelchairs can and are playing in single or doubles as in regular pickleball or, in teams made up of a wheelchair player partnered with a standing player. A few modifications have been made for the wheelchair athlete. A double bounce is allowed for the wheelchair athlete and the front wheels of his chair can cross the non-volley line.
These guys are a joy to watch…they are fast, they are accurate, they are competitive and mostly…they are thrilled and proud to have a new sport in which they can excel and have fun. Pickleball Canada is committed to the development of the sport in Canada to all demographics throughout the country. Help make this a truly National pastime.
How to Get Started
Pickleball Canada recommends the following tips to develop para pickleball in your area.
- The most important aspect to be successful in developing para pickleball in your area is to have a devoted person who has a passion to develop para pickleball.
- That person should contact a para sport organization in your area/province to find out where the various para sports are played. Go to those facilities to find potential candidates to play para pickleball.
- PC also recommends that a para pickleball presentation be made to para sports organizations with potential candidates present. Afterwards, arrange a pickleball demonstration and include players that are in a wheelchair.
- Please be aware that the official International Federation of Pickleball Rules already include a section on Wheelchair Rules. One should become familiar with these special rules.
- Even if you only convince one person in a wheelchair to play para pickleball in your area, consider that to be a success! More wheelchair players are apt to follow.
- One way to encourage wheelchair pickleball is through what is called the Hybrid game. Not all players on the court have to be in a wheelchair. Rather, the wheelchair player plays with a person that is standing up. They can play against either another hybrid team or against 2 stand-up players. In the Hybrid games, the wheelchair rules only apply to the players in the wheelchairs.
- By playing the Hybrid game you are more apt to have longer rallies which is encouraging and motivating to the wheelchair players. Soon the wheelchair players can integrate with pickleball clubs in your area. The wheelchair players should go through the same learning methods as new stand-up players and they will progress very similarly and fast like the new stand-up players.
- One example of success was the transformation of a not so active wheelchair volleyball team into 6 active wheelchair para pickleball players!
For more information on Para Pickleball, please contact Pierre Yves Roy, PCO Para Pickleball Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.