image of a group of people playing wheelchair basketball

The Adaptive Sports and Fitness program at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital helps to maximize participation for individuals with disabilities in recreational and competitive sports. Through these programs, participants are able to build self-confidence, improve health and well-being, and gain greater independence.

Our programs are open to anyone with a physical disability at no cost. We provide coaching, training, equipment, and travel assistance in nine sports. We provide circuit training, open gym, and cardio fitness classes both at the hospital and in the community. We also host adaptive sports tournaments and special events throughout the year. Our coaching staff, personal trainers, and volunteers are highly qualified, well trained, and ready to assist you.

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Adaptive yoga

image of a woman in a park doing yoga from her chair

Adapted yoga is a seated class intended for anyone in the community with a physical disability. The class is free and offered in eight-week sessions; participants are encouraged to attend consistently week to week. Each class is tailored to participants’ needs and focuses on gentle seated exercises to improve strength and flexibility and meditation practices to reduce stress.

Schedule

Wednesdays: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
MedStar NRH—New Value Conference Room
102 Irving St., NW
Washington, DC 20010

Contact

Participants must contact Allison Huck at allison.m.huck@medstar.net prior to attending their first class.

Basketball

image of athletes in wheelchairs playing basketball

The MedStar NRH Punishers Wheelchair Basketball team is ranked third in the nation in the highest division (Division 1) of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA). Players are classified based on their function level, ranging from 1.0 to 4.5. The team can only have a total 15 points on the court at the same time, ensuring that players with more severe disabilities are encouraged to participate.

Everyone is welcome to attend and participate at practices.

Schedule

Monday practices: official team practice
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
East County Community Center
3310 Gateshead Manor Way
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Wednesday practices: locations vary
6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Contact

Harsh Thakkar
202-877-1859
harsh.v.thakkar@medstar.net

Bocce ball

image of a group of children with disabilities at a playground

The ancient game of bocce is a fully accessible sport for everyone combining wits, skill, and strategy.

No experience is necessary; this is an introductory level clinic. Paralympic bocce competition is open to male and female athletes with severe locomotor disabilities of a cerebral or non-cerebral origin.

Schedule

White Oak Community Center
1700 April Lane
Silver Spring, MD 20904
240-777-6940

Register for free at the front door to get your access card.

Contact

Contact Tanece James at tanece.j.james@medstar.net

Cycling

image of people with disabilities riding bikes

MedStar NRH offers free cycling clinics with a variety of cycles to fit your ability, including handcycles, adapted foot pedaled bicycles, and upright bicycles.

Contact 

Allison Huck
(202) 877-1933

Allison.m.huck@medstar.net

Fitness classes

image of people in a fitness class
No Limits Adaptive Fitness Program

The MedStar NRH Adaptive Fitness program offers multiple avenues for individuals with varying physical abilities. With increased physical activity, we aim to build and improve strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, functional abilities, and overall mood and confidence. The fitness classes can be specifically fit to the needs of the individual by our certified trainers.

This program is made possible in part thanks to The Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Foundation.

Schedule

Fitness classes are held on a weekly basis, at MedStar NRH Irving Street Location, 102 Irving St. NW, Washington, DC 20010.

Due to COVID-19 we have had to limit in-person programming for the Adaptive Fitness Program. Registration is required for virtual classes and essential for the in-person classes, as space and number of people allowed is limited.

We are working through these times to continue to provide resources, education and Adaptive Fitness programming for all current and new participants. Our current classes are being offered virtually, with some limited in-person classes available through a pre-registration process.

Monday

Adaptive sit and HIIT (high intensity interval training) class at 5:30 p.m. (virtual)

Tuesday

Adaptive circuit training from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. (virtual)
Circuit training and open gym from 6:40 to 8 p.m. (in-person)

Thursday

Adaptive boxing class from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (virtual)
Adaptive boxing class from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (in-person)

Friday

Strength and cardio fitness at 11 a.m. (virtual)

Saturday

Circuit training and open gym from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (in-person)
Saturday fitness (virtual) 1 - 2 p.m.

Our trainers are specialized, dedicated and reliable trainers, who are proficient in working with individuals with various disabilities and disorders. The “No Limits” Program has staff who are physical therapists, and skilled personal trainers who facilitate group and individual programming for fitness.

The “No Limits” Fitness program also partners with the Spirit Club, to operate virtual and in-person programming. Spirit Club helps provides services that is safe yet effective to help individuals in the program reach their optimal fitness and wellness goals. Our programs aims to help those with neurological disabilities understand and reach their full potential and expect more from themselves.

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Quad rugby

Image of group of wheelchair basketball athletes

Wheelchair rugby is a team sport played with a volleyball on a basketball-size court with goal lines. Athletes play in a sport chair, which has special accommodations for rugby, such as a front bumper, wings, and spoke protectors. The sport is a combination of wheelchair basketball, ice hockey, and soccer. The object is to gain points by crossing the goal line while you have possession of the volleyball.

In order to participate, individuals must have a combination of upper and lower body extremity impairment. Most athletes have quadriplegia and are classified as to their abilities. There is a classification system ranging from 0.5 to 3.5, with 0.5 being the players with the greatest functional impairment.

Schedule

The MedStar NRH Punishers Wheelchair Rugby Team practices every Tuesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. during the season (October through April); practices are every other week in the off-season. The team practices at the North Michigan Park Recreation Center, 1333 Emerson St. NE, Washington, DC.

Contact

For more information on the Punishers or to reserve your spot at the next practice, please contract Tricia Nelson at 202-877-1427 or patricia.e.nelson@medstar.net.

Rowing

Image of people in the NRH Rowing Program

The MedStar NRH Rowing program is open to any individual with a physical disability who is interested in learning to row. The rowing program consists of two levels of programming:

  • Learn to Row/Recreational Rowing

  • Competitive/High Performance Rowing

Participation in the rowing program is free and instruction and coaching are provided by certified coaches. The desire to become competitive is not required; rowing is a great cardiovascular workout for anyone with a disability. Each individual is assessed to determine what modifications may be needed to maximize performance.

Schedule

Rowing is offered year-round, offering instruction and training on the water April through September, and indoor erg training November through March. Opportunities for competition both indoor on ergs and on the water are made available for those interested.

Contact

For more information about the Rowing program, please contact Allison Huck at (202) 877-1933 or allison.m.huck@medstar.net.

Sled hockey

Image of the DC Sled Sharks - a competitive junior sled hockey team

The DC Sled Sharks is a competitive junior sled hockey team with players ranging in age from 4 to 18 years. We offer developmental and competitive opportunities for children interested in the sport. We provide sleds, sticks, and hockey equipment at no cost.

Like regular hockey, sled hockey is played on a standard size ice rink with standard-size nets and pucks, but instead of skates, players sit in specially designed sleds with two hockey blades mounted on the frame. The stick used by players is about one-third the size of a regulation stick and includes two metal picks on the end. Players use two of these sticks to propel themselves across the ice.

Schedule

During our season (September to March), we practice weekly at Kettler’s Ice Plex in Arlington, VA, the same rink used for practice by the Washington Capitals.  Off season (June to August), we practice once a month to recruit new players.

Contact

For more information, contact Joan Joyce at 202-877-1420 or joan.p.joyce@medstar.net.

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Tennis

Wheelchair tennis provides the opportunity for people with physical disabilities to compete in tennis on a recreational or professional level; it also gives them the ability to compete with their able-bodied friends. All rules in wheelchair tennis are the same, except wheelchair players are allowed two bounces of the ball. Over 15,000 players in over 70 countries on all continents play wheelchair tennis.

Schedule

Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC)
5200 Campus Dr.
College Park, MD 20740

Classes and times are to be determined.

Contact

Contact coach Brenda J. Gilmore to register and for more information at brendagilmore@comcast.net.

Run in partnership with the Junior Tennis Champions Center

 

Additional information

Peer mentor and wellness program

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