Sizzling Summer Sports

Summer Sports Opportunities

clip art image reading "SUMMER" in multiple colors, set on top of the ocean

By:  Kelly Bonner

While summer typically represents a time for camps, vacations, or simply not going to school, it is also a time when kids across the country, just like you, are competing in track, field, archery, table tennis, and swimming. Tournaments take place in every region of the country throughout the months of May and June and then everyone gathers in July for the National Junior Disability Championships (NJDC). This year the NJDC are in Rochester, Minnesota.

So, did any of those sports sound fun to you? Want to know how you can get involved?

Here’s How it Works:

Some sports require specialty equipment, like a racing chair. Other sports, like swimming, don’t require much at all. There is a lot of specialty equipment out there to help anyone compete in any sport.

For example, in track someone can compete with a:

                                                         Racing Chair                                                              

a participant uses a racing chair in a track event

Race Runner


a participant uses a walker in a track event

Guide Runner

Or, On Their Own!

a participant competes in a track event without any assistance or assistive devices

Here are some pictures of other sports:


a participant competes in an archery event, shooting from a wheelchair

Table Tennis

a team of ping pong players compete from wheelchairs


a participant uses an assistive device to compete in the field event "discus"


4 individuals prepare to dive into a pool in a swimming event

Everyone who competes is classified according to ability level. Each sport has its own set of classifying rules. Individuals then compete against other kids who have the same classification as them. You can compete in one or as many sports as you like.

Typically, kids practice and compete with a sports club (see link below) in their area, but if you don’t have a club nearby, you can compete as an independent. You have to qualify to compete in the National Championship. In order to qualify, you will need to compete at a regional or local tournament and meet the qualifying standards set for your classification.

Practicing and competing is a great way to prepare yourself if you have dreams of being a Paralympic athlete someday. It also helps you meet new friends from all over the United States that may have a disability just like you.

For more information here are a few websites you can check out:

There's bound to be a sport you'll love, so check it out!

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