FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Giant Victory: Wheelchair Football Comes To Parks
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Executive Director Paul J. Tobin and Director of Sports & Recreation Bill Hannigan of United Spinal Association, and former New York Giants fullback Charles Way to dedicate the first wheelchair football field in New York State at Victory Field in Forest Park.
In an intense exhibition game, athletes with disabilities from around the City showcased the exhilarating adaptive sport. Wheelchair football rules are adapted from 6-on-6 flag football. The game is played on asphalt, which is easier to maneuver in a wheelchair. The team, sponsored by the New York Giants and United Spinal Association, will use Victory Field for practices and games, with plans to host a tournament.
“Parks is proud to add an official Wheelchair Football field to our other Accessible programs, which already include Wheelchair Basketball and Ballroom Dancing, Aquatic Therapy, and Playgrounds for All Children,” said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “It is one of the Parks Department’s highest priorities to help ALL New Yorkers discover how New York City’s 29,000 acres of parkland can enrich their lives.”
The Parks Department’s goal is to provide access and opportunity. Visit our website at www.nyc.gov for more information on accessibility at Parks, including playgrounds, centers with programming and field trips, free Aquatic Therapy Instruction, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Ballroom Dancing, and Quad Rugby.
Parks has partnered with United Spinal Association, a national membership organization enhancing the lives of people with spinal cord injuries and disorders. The Association sponsors a wide variety of wheelchair recreational and adaptive sports programs guided by the belief that the benefits of participating in sports are no different for athletes with disabilities than for able-bodied athletes. Membership is free and open to all individuals with disabilities of the spinal cord. More information at www.unitedspinal.org or (800) 404-2898.
“United Spinal Association is grateful to be working alongside the New York City Parks Department to provide wheelchair athletes with accessible practice and playing fields in the New York metropolitan area,” said United Spinal Association Sports and Recreation Director Bill Hannigan. “Adaptive sports are an important part of our commitment to enabling people with spinal cord injuries and disorders to fulfill their potential as active members of their communities. The dedication of facilities such as the wheelchair football field at Victory Field, which gives people with disabilities a chance to participate in the sports they love, is a truly rewarding experience.”
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CONTACT: Warner Johnston / Jama Adams (212) 360-1311