Adaptive Sports Fitness Program
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

Adaptive Yoga is a seated class intended for anyone in the community with a physical disability. The class is free and 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.

Registration for Adaptive Yoga will be done on a month-to-month basis. The program will be located at MedStar NRH (102 Irving St NW, Washington, DC 20010) in the New Value Conference which is located on the ground floor next to the cafeteria.

If you have not participated in our programs before, you will be contacted for a program orientation and to confirm your participation. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Tyra Anderson.


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.


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. 


Harsh Thakkar

Bocce ball

image of a group of children with disabilities at a playground

Youth and adult program, monthly clinics, recreational-level, highly adaptable.


Rotating Thursday evenings.
Raymond Recreation Center
3725 10th St NW, Washington DC, 20010
Registration is required. Click here to register.


Contact Alyssa Colbert at


image of people with disabilities riding bikes

Outdoor, weekly clinics and riding opportunities, all equipment provided, all functional levels welcome.


Alyssa Colbert

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.

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.

Adaptive Fitness Program Overview

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


FUNctional upper extremity group: on-hold. (in-person)
Circuit training and open gym from 6:00 to 8 p.m. (in-person)


Adaptive boxing class from 5 to 5:45 p.m. (hybrid)


Self Defense Based Fitness Class from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. (in-person)


Circuit training and open gym from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (in-person)
Movin' and grovin' Session #1 is 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Session #2 is 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Sample the Movin' and Groovin' Class
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NRH - Spirit Club Virtual Classes

Monday 5:30 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m.


Create a Spirit Club account using the following link and information to sign up for the Monday "SIT and HIIT" class or the "Friday Fitness" class. This will allow you to watch the live classes.

  • Click this link

  • Go to the bottom of the page and click "Sign up"
  • Type in your email address, name, and password you would like to use to login
  • Click the box to agree to the Terms & Conditions, then click "Continue"

Sample SPIRIT - Sit and HIIT Class

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Wheelchair 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.


The MedStar NRH *United Wheelchair Rugby Team practices every Tuesday evening in Fairfax, VA during the season (September through April); practices are every other week in the off-season. The team is part of the United States Wheelchair Rugby Association league and competes in regional and national tournaments throughout the season.


For more information on the Punishers or to reserve your spot at the next practice, please contract Rita Penniman at 202-877-1087 or


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.


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.


For more information about the Rowing program, please contact Irene Walsh at or Meagan Thomas at

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.


During our season (September to March), we practice weekly at MedStar Capitals 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.


For more information, contact Elizabeth Parker at

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Created in 1976, wheelchair tennis is one of the fastest growing and most challenging of all wheelchair sports. It provides the opportunity for people with physical disabilities to compete in tennis on a recreational or competitive level and 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.

We have established a prospering community partnership with JTCC, a world class tennis club dedicated to providing tennis opportunities to all ages and abilities. At our clinics, you will learn the lifelong sport of tennis from Brenda Gilmore, a formerly nationally ranked wheelchair tennis competitor and a USPTR and USPTA certified coach along with JTCC coaches. The free 15-week program is for junior and adult players of all tennis abilities. You will work to develop stroke technique, matchplay strategy, and mobility skills.


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

Classes held Sundays, Juniors 1pm-2pm & Adults 1pm-3pm from March 14- June 20

Register here.


Contact our Program Manager, Harsh Thakkar at to register or for further information.

Run in partnership with the Junior Tennis Champions Center


Additional information

Make an Online Gift


If you are interested in volunteering for the Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program, please click here to complete the application. For questions, concerns, or additional information, contact Elizabeth Parker at


Peer mentor and wellness program

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