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So, when will Rutgers have wheelchair basketball?

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    #16
    Originally posted by bigbob:

    It seemed like most of the other athletes were from wealthy families. They all had beautiful vans to carry the racer and all sorts of electric air compressors and other gadgets. At first they stared at us when I transported my son's loaned race chair with rear wheels resting on the trunk of my car and front wheel tide to the roof with thick yellow string. To me it seems that SCI does not discriminate, but yet I think wheelchair sports is only available to someone that comes from a wealthy family.
    Bigbob, people don't usually look at your wheelchair-related gear. People will normally dig into yours and your son's individuality, personality, ambitions, achievements, etc.. You will be welcome and admired by others in any circle of life if you possess the aforesaid qualities. Don't worry! Suzanne
    Suzanne

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      #17
      Suzanne, you are right in what you say, but I was trying to say that wheelchair sport is usually only played by the kids that come from wealthy families, and usually children from poor families don't get a chance.

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        #18
        Bigbob, sorry that I misunderstood your post! My son, Richard, has not started any wheelchair sports yet, so it may be rather hard for me to realize that. Suzanne
        Suzanne

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          #19
          Money is a factor, but also, and more importantly, the discrimination between paraplegic and quadriplegics in wheelchair sports. There is much LESS access to these athletic sports, especially competive, for quads. There is a definite bias towards supporting paras in sports than those with more higher level injuries. I can understand why. It is much easier to support, since paras are mostly independent, less supports being necessary to enable them to participate. Paras are also easier to promote, and gain sponsorship for. Since it isn't that remarkable that a para succeeds in a w/c sport, their "achievements" can easily be promoted. Adding the "cripple" factor helps too, but we all know that that is merely a tool to gain sympathy from the public by workin the "hero" and "courage" myth. eh, if it helps to get the $$$, work it, but discrimination exists WITHIN SCI as well. [img]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img]

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            #20
            Chick you are 100% right! There is discrimination. We can only work towards a perfect society and in the meantime try to make some changes.

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              #21
              But even now, the University of Arizona has wheelchair sports for paras and quads, while most state universities, like New Jersey have none. I would hope that when New Jersey addresses wheelchair sports in the state university they would follow suite and have sports for both paras and quads. It's ironic with there being so few universities that have wheelchair sports at all, that there should be a schism between paras and quads.

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                #22
                Clipper had asked me for some numbers

                Arizona: 195,811 total people reporting a physical disability age 16-64, 8,539 age 5-15
                New Jersey:254,298 total people reporting a physical disability age 16-64, 11,562 age 5-15
                Illinois: 400,908 total people reporting a phsical disability age 16-64, 19,519 age 5-15

                the above was obtained from International Center for Disability Information

                I also took the area or square miles of the above states into consideration

                Arizona 114,006 sq miles which means 1.79 reported physical disability per sq mi.

                New Jersey 8,722 sq miles which means 30.48 reported physical disability per sq mi.

                Illinois 57,916 sq miles which means 7.26 reported physical disability per sq mi.

                The figures show that New Jersey has a much higher rate of physical disability per square mile than the 2 states that offer wheelchair sports.

                [This message was edited by bigbob on 12-29-03 at 07:26 PM.]

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                  #23
                  Kent Kloepping is the person responsible for wheelchair sports at the University of Arizona. Complete storyHe remarked "If I've been troublesome, I'd call it advocacy," he said. "I apologize... but I would do it again."

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                    #24
                    "In January, the IHSA sent a questionnaire to its 755 member schools to find out the number and location of students eligible to play wheelchair basketball. According to IHSA administrative specialist Jeff Creek, the survey revealed about 1,000 students are eligible for the sport. Frogley expects 150 to 300 of them to attend the camp."complete article

                    Thats the way it should be done. They actually sent out a questionaire to see how many High School students are available, and then the college ran a summer camp for them. I wish New Jersey and more states would follow their example.

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                      #25
                      You are right but where is the leadership coming from for these programs? I have met many of the U of I people and they are truly special. They are driven and have only made these programs work through a lot of hard work. Frogly has been fighting for years to get his sports recognized as official athletic dept sports but has yet to have any luck still. You have to fight. The high school program got started because of his(and I am sure others) drive and ambition(and I have a feeling because it would be a great feeder program to the university later), not just because people wanted it. Its all about the people willing to stick their neck out and try to get this stuff started. It sounds like something that a lot of people WANT to do but how many people are activly doing anything about it?

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                        #26
                        Sledhockeygirl, I have spoke to Frogly and he is amazing. He said it takes a coach to get a program going. It doesn't start on its own, like some have suggested. He knows of my concerns and offered to recommend a coach if needed. Having more teams would provide easier access and would make more potential players aware that sports do exist for them.

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                          #27
                          Bob are you actually trying to get something started? Was this just a discussion topic, or something you brought up because you in the planning stages of something?

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                            #28
                            I would love to get something started. I have spoke to State Senators, and US Congressman. I have spoke to the Athletic Director at Rutgers. I have wrote to the Governor and even spoke to him on "Meet the Governor" on CBS radio. I have spoke to the Dept. of Compliance at Rutgers. It may not even be that they are against Wheelchair Sports, but that they need a little push to get it started. Just me telling them that it would be nice to have Wheelchair Sports is not enough. After they finish the conversation with me they go on to the next thing and forget about our conversation. That's how it is. They can handle me, but they couldn't handle numbers of people. The problem is organizing this. I have no way of reaching out to all the High Schools to find these students, or their parents. But I believe there are plenty of students here that would make good use of a program. The numbers I posted support that. In Illinois, this work is done through a questionnaire that is filled out by each High School in the state. I can only hope to create more interest. I am not qualified to put a program together. The first step would be for a decision to be made to provide or at least try to provide Wheelchair Sports. Then a coach would be needed who has a background in organizing. The ironic thing about this is if they ever have Wheelchair Sports they will milk the feather in their cap! And rightfully so.

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                              #29
                              A few days ago I made reference to an article from 2001, about Illinois sending out a questionaire to its High Schools to see how many students would be available for Wheelchair Basketball. Here are the results reflected in the large particapation in the basketball camps for High School students from Illinois for the year 2003. The University of Illinois hosted over 120 athletes.
                              "Last year, the University of Illinois Junior Wheelchair Basketball Camps hosted over 120 athletes. This year, camps will include all of the components which made our previous camps the best in the nation but will also allow for more developmentally appropriate instruction and increased individual attention.
                              Personal skills development and overall understanding of the game will be the focus of training sessions. Time will also be allotted for athletes to relax and socialize." Complete Article
                              ..........and in New Jersey Rutgers can't find 5 students to play wheelchair basketball

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                                #30
                                When, I first started posting or more correctly complaining that the State University does not offer wheelchair sports, the basic reply was, are there enough students to support such activities. Thanks to Clipper, I was asked for some numbers. Based on the numbers I was able to get, I don't think the numbers are the reason there is no activities for wheelchair students. I believe, if New Jersey took the initiative like Illinois did, we would have a flourishing wheelchair sports program. I also would like to point out that some colleges that offer wheelchair sports allow participation by people that are not in the student body so they can have enough people for competition.

                                Numbers I found:
                                Arizona 114,006 sq miles which means 1.79 reported physical disability per sq mi.

                                New Jersey 8,722 sq miles which means 30.48 reported physical disability per sq mi.

                                Illinois 57,916 sq miles which means 7.26 reported physical disability per sq mi.

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