Annual Wheels For All event continues to impact those with and without disabilities

Victoria Sayaovong, Associate Reporter

Wheels for All celebrates 7th annual tournament

Oct. 25 marks the 7th annual Wheels for All tournament here at UW-La Crosse.  The Wheels for All tournament features four on four wheelchair basketball and, added just this year, wheelchair handball, a sport similar to soccer, only played with hands.

Wheels for All is an event that allows participants, with and without disabilities, to compete against one another in basketball and handball.  The purpose of this event is not for entertainment solely, but also to help spread awareness of physical disabilities and those who are affected by it.

“An Adapted Physical Education graduate student named Ali Jafaar started the tournament in the fall of 2011,” stated Brian Gordon, a Sport Management Professor here at UW-L.  “Ali came up with the idea to host a wheelchair basketball tournament every semester to raise awareness for disability sport and to raise funds for the Center on Disability Health and Adapted Physical Activity.”

The Wheels for All tournament allows participants without disabilities to experience the difficulties those with disabilities encounter.  This event also enlightens us about what we need to do in order to accommodate to the needs of those with disabilities.

“The tournament has had a significant impact on individuals with and without disabilities,” Gordon began. “For individuals without disabilities, it has really opened their eyes to disability awareness and gave them a greater appreciation for the day-to-day life of individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, participating in the event has been a fun, empowering experience.”

The proceeds received by the Wheels for All tournament benefits the Center on Disability Health and Adapted Physical Activity Programs and the UW-L Sports Management Association.

Those who haven’t been involved in the Wheels for All tournament before may find that joining in on this year’s tournament could give them a wonderful and eye opening experience.  Not only will participants be able to experience basketball and handball in a different way, but they will also have the pleasure of playing against other great participants, as well.

The entry fee for the Wheels for All tournament is $5 dollars per person and must be deposited by Oct. 17 by 5 p.m. at 108 Mitchell Hall.

The Wheels for All tournament will take place on Oct. 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Mitchell Hall.

For more information, contact Brian Gordon at [email protected]