Wheelchair Sports Federation | Adaptive Sports Organization
Wheelchair Basketball Clinic at Hostos Community College (CUNY) Print E-mail
Written by John Hamre   

 

There was a introduction to Wheelchair Basketball for CUNY Students at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, NY on Saturday August 11, 2018 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.  Run by Wheelchair Basketball standout Ryan Martin and with the help of Wheelchair Sports Federation over 25 students got to try Wheelchair Basketball and lay the foundation for future Adaptive Sports opportunities at CUNY.

 

 
18th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament Print E-mail
Written by John Hamre   

  

 

From Thursday June 7 to Sunday June 10, over 50 wheelchair tennis players participated in the 18th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center in Queens, NY.  Here is a list of award recipients:

 

Men’s A Singles Winner & Doubles Finalist - Taylor Wingate
Men’s A Singles Finalist & Doubles Winner - Patrick Donaghey
Men’s A Singles Consolation Winner & Doubles Finalist - Nathan Melnyk

Men's A Doubles Winner - Kevin Green

 

 

 

Men’s B Singles Winner & Doubles Finalist - Billy Lehr

Men's B Singles & Doubles Finalist - Edy Lopez

Men's B Consolation Winner - Jack Beaulieu

Men’s B Doubles Winner - Michael Milano

Men’s B Doubles Winner - Chris St Remy


Men's C Singles Winner - Troy Weise

Men’s C Singles & Doubles Finalist - Andre Lambert
C Singles Consolation Winner - Karina Nicolakis
Men’s C Doubles Winner - Joe Mendez

Men’s C Doubles Winner - Johnny Tejada

Men’s C Doubles Finalist - John Roberts

 

 

 

Men’s D Singles Winner & Doubles Winner - Sasha Blair-Goldensohn

Men’s D Singles Finalist & Doubles Finalist - Ken Tahan

Men’s D Doubles Winner - Astrid Bonoan
Men’s D Doubles Finalist - Katherine Valdez
 
These next two can be a larger plaque
18th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament
George McFadden Award
Salvatore Calabro 

18th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament
Al Youakim Spirit Award
Nathan Melnyk

All participants competed at the highest level and enjoyed playing at one of the best Tennis Facilities in the World.  Thanks to our sponsors for making it possible, USTA, All-American Bagel, NYC Parks and the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 July 2018 17:07
 
1st Annual New York Rollin’ Knicks Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Print E-mail
Written by John Hamre   

The #1 Wheelchair Basketball Team in the United States hosted their Inaugural Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City NY on Saturday March 18 and Sunday March 19, 2018.  With 3 Division 1 Teams, NY Rollin Knicks, Medstar NRH Punishers, Toronoto Rapters and the top Division 2 Team in the US, the Nassau Kings, the adaptive athletes competed at the highest level that wheelchair basketball can offer.

 

All the Teams are preparing for their run at the National Championship in Louisville KY in April 2018 - https://www.nwba.org/2018nwbt

   

The NY Knicks came out on top with the Medstar NRH Punishers coming in second and the Toronto Raptors taking third.  The Nassau Kings and NY Rollin Knicks played a competitive exhibition game since they are in two different divisions.

Congratulations on a great Tournament and the Wheelchair Sports Federation would like to thank our dedicated volunteers, James and Jeremy Tantsits, Joanna Nieh, Zak Ivkovic and the CUNY staff, All-American Deli & Bagel Company and a special thanks to Kevin Grant who did a great job as Tournament Director.  We all look forward to seeing everyone next year and if you'd like to see the NY Rollin Knicks and the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks play for the National Wheelchair Basketball Championship in 2017 - Click Here - https://www.nwba.org/

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 March 2018 22:17
 
Team USA Sled Hockey Gets a Golden Hat Trick Print E-mail
Written by Josh Eisenberg   

 

Team USA celebrates on the Ice following the 2-1 Victory for gold against Canada – March 18, 2018 PHOTO CREDIT: Michael A. Clubine 

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — In 1812, the Canadian forces tried to invade the USA, but after heavy damages to both militaries fighting the war, the United States navy was able to resist, even with heavy pressure. Fast forward to March 18, 2018. History repeated itself. The United States withheld an attack from a very good Canadian team led by Captain Greg Westlake. Team USA Sled Hockey, led by Captain Josh Pauls and Declan Farmer, took home the gold medal for the third straight Paralympic Games. The final score was 2-1 in OT.

For Team Canada, the home team wearing red with the white maple leaf, it was Dominic Larocque in goal looking across the ice at Steve Cash for Team USA. Both men had yet to let in a goal, all Paralympics long. However, there were two goals looming over the United States: the one in the Italy game, and the one that gave Canada the Championship in the World Cup.


Team USA would be without Defenseman Tyler Carron, who was suspended for the last game against Italy — disqualified at the end of the second period of that game due to abuse of an official. Also not dressed for the match was Defenseman Nikko Landeros, who was coming off a hat trick against Italy in the semi-finals. This meant that the USA would be starting Josh Pauls at Defense along with Billy Hanning Jr.

It was high noon at the Gangneung’s version of the O.K. Corral, the world was watching from the sidelines as this duel was about to take place between the two top seeds of the world. The puck was in the refs hands as the bell sounded. The official dropped the puck at center ice and it was on.


Canada won the opening face off. Both teams were clobbering each other with hard hits, but it was the Canadians who broke through with 2:54 left in the first period. It was Billy Bridges (6) who put the biscuit in the basket on a ricochet off the glove of Steve Cash, assisted by Ben Delaney and Liam Hickey. The Score was 1-0. It was the first deficit all tournament for the United States. This was also the closest lead for team Canada leaving the first period. The United States had no shots on goal in the first period of play. For Cash it was his first goal allowed since Sochi 2014. Rather than fold under pressure, Cash then went on to save everything that came his way and his teammates stood behind him.

“Steve Cash is the best player in the world,” said teammate Declan Farmer, “he kept us in the game… regardless.”

Canada was a team unlike the U.S. had never seen before, as much as the USA kept hitting them hard, and the northern lights of Canada still kept shining.

Team USA’s first Shot on goal came with 13:53 remaining in the second period. At 11:51 left in the second, Canada crashed into the net, and an official review was called. The crowd was getting anxious, chants of “CAN-A-DA!” vs. “U-S-A!” were percolating throughout Gangneung Hockey Centre and the question was: “was it a goal”? After much debate over the headphones, no. it was not. The score remained 1-0 in favor of Canada. That’s how the period would end as well, and the shots on goal were even at eight per team.

At the start of the third period, the in-arena announcers dared the audience to break the sound record in the arena, which was sitting at 108.1 Db. It was broken: 108.9 Db. They were ready. The puck dropped and together everyone was  blasted off toward hockey history.

 

With just over a minute remaining in the third, things got interesting, Canada’s #6 Rob Armstrong got the puck and shot on an empty net, cleared by the United States in favor of an extra player. It hit the pipe, and Team USA did not go gently into that good night. It was Princeton University Student and PyeongChang stand out Declan Farmer, with 38.7 seconds left, scoring with assists from Kevin McKee and Brody Roybal. The game was tied. We were headed to extra hockey.


Before the game, Declan’s Father Matt Farmer said how honored he is to have Declan as his son,

“We’re so proud of Declan. He’s taken around the world with his hockey and we’re so happy that he found his way in this sport.”

Declan responded,  “I couldn’t have gotten here without my parents, my brother, and they are huge part of how I got here. They drive me to practice when I was a little kid and making sacrifices by driving me to tournaments…so they are as much a part of this as I am.”

Was Papa Farmer ever so proud of his son after the match. In overtime, at the 48:30 mark, Declan received a pass from Josh Pauls and brought the gold home to the United States with one swing of the stick. It hit the back of the net. His second goal of the day and The United States Sled Hockey team stormed the ice. They had done it. Shades of Sochi, coming back from a deficit, going to overtime and winning the whole thing. Redemption for Team USA who have regained the #1  ranking in the world after losing it at this past World Cup.

As it turns out, when the puck hit the pipe, Coach Guy Gosselin nearly had what he called a, “Stage 9 plus heart attack”. He continued, “We kind of regrouped and went down the ice our guys did a nice job of going around the ice tonight.“

Now that the PyeongChang campaign is over and Canada went home with silver, their Captain Greg Westlake, who said this would be his final games, doesn’t know what the future holds. Whether he comes back is still up in the air.

“I have no idea man, but I’ll tell you the last few weeks here was the most fun I have ever had playing hockey and in the last three years. I’ll tell you I those guys, and I wish them all the best.”

 

For Team USA Sled Hockey the third time’s a charm, but for players like Forward Jack Wallace it’s beginner’s luck. When asked what a gold medal tastes like, he responded,

“I don’t know actually I bumped my tooth on it pretty hard and I was bleeding there for a second. But it tastes like the best thing in the world right now.”

Team USA standout Rico Roman stayed true to his word: “This is America’s gold,” he proclaimed as he held up the 10 pound golden orb, “I got real emotional out there with my teammates and the overall feeling of leaving it all on the ice, getting out there, sweating bleeding… you can see it on our jerseys. I mean, it was all left on the ice and it paid off when it needed to.”

Captain Josh Pauls, says he doesn’t know about playing again for Team USA, but if Team USA calls, he would think about coming back.

“I’m not thinking that far ahead because I wanna just celebrate with friends and family.”

The same can be said for Steve Cash who made certain that reporters know there is a big question mark on a possible Beijing 2022 visit, he said he’s, “Taking it day by day,” continuing, “That’s a question that I get a lot. And I’m just living in the moment right now.”

Brody Roybal, who going into the match with Canada was the overall points leader of the tournament, was named MVP of the Paralympics. As it turns out there was no points battle between Farmer and Roybal, as they were just there to have fun for Team USA,

“We’re just here to play our best for the USA, and we got what we came for. We’re just two guys on the ice having fun,” added Roybal.

There were signs all over the arena saying, “JS” in honor of their late head coach Jeff Sauer who died of Cancer last year suddenly. Some players believed that Jeff was in the building when Armstrong hit the pipe on the open net.  Whether or not Sauer was looking down from above is questionable. What is not, is that The United States can now claim once again that they are the best sled hockey team in the world.

PHOTOS CREDIT: Michael A. Clubine

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2018 13:53
 
PyeongChang 2018 Closes with the Hope of Moving the World Print E-mail
Written by Candace Cable and Orge Castellano   

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea͢thirty years has passed since South Korea hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games, it was the first time both events were held in tandem bringing the Paralympic Games into the global spotlight. A lot of things have changed since that moment, the Games have become a global phenomenon, the 3rd largest sporting event, and it has provided a new light of opportunity to millions of disabled people across the world to play sports. The Paralympics bring billions of spectators every year and break records in every edition. The games have exceeded expectations on all fronts, surpassing previous ticket sales reaching over 320,531, breaking the most tickets sold for a Winter Games edition.

The farewell party didn’t disappoint, and like the opening ceremony it was filled with a good dosage of traditional Korean artistry from music, to poetry, to dancing and phenomenal visual effects. It was a historical timeline combining the ancient and the modern.

asset_SB6_8869_12249_ioc_2018-03-18_154014.jpgA German flag is waved during the Closing Ceremony for The Paralympic Winter Games, PyeongChang, South Korea, Sunday 18th March 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Simon Bruty for OIS/IOC.

“Tonight is a celebration, a celebration that if you dare to dream, you must do your best to fulfil it.” said International Paralympic Committee president, Andrew Parsons, who charmingly engaged with the audience throwing a couple of sentences in perfect Korean.

The ceremony began with the athletes, flag bearers of each country parading into the arena to join the rest of their teammates. Arariyo, a 600-year-old folk song, stunned the audience with the simplicity and power of its drumming accompanied by a multitude of dancers flowing around the stadium in unison to the music. The highlights of the 10-day journey of joy and sorrow that Paralympians experienced here in Pyeongchang was screened for everyone to enjoy.

asset_SB5_0461_12243_ioc_2018-03-18_154024.jpgArtists perform during the Closing Ceremony of the XII Paralympic Winter Games in the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium. The Paralympic Winter Games, PyeongChang, South Korea, Sunday 18th March 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Simon Bruty for OIS/IOC.

An essential piece of all closing ceremonies is the revealing of new athletes representatives to the IPC, and the awarding of the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award to two paralympic athletes. This recognition is given in honour of the Dr. Whang Youn Dai, who is an advocate who has devoted her entire life to rehabilitation sport of Korean people with an impairment. This prestigious award represent all the Paralympic values: Determination, Courage, Inspiration and Equality. The award is given to the best athletes who exemplified the spirit of the games, this year it was the turn of New Zealand’s Alpine skier Adam Hall and Finnish Sini Pyy who is a Biathlon and Cross country para athlete

asset_JM1_0669_12357_ioc_2018-03-18_153944.jpgPresentation of the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award to Adam Hall NZL and Sini Pyy FIN duringduring the Closing Ceremony for The Paralympic Winter Games, PyeongChang, South Korea, Sunday 18th March 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Joel Marklund for OIS/IOC

The USA for the third consecutive time of the Winter Games came on top of the medal count with 36 medals in total, 13 gold, 15 silver and 8 bronze.

As the ceremony drew to a close, the show gave the world a chance to rejoice in its central theme “We Move the World” an opportunity to see how the winter festival transitions to the blossoming of the spring. It was a sincere moment of reflection, spring, as an element of farewell encouraging the spectators to march towards the world of coexistence. The flowers in full bloom were a symbol representing a new world that has already begun to change.

Declaring the 2018 Paralympics closed, International Paralympic Committee president, Andrew Parsons, said: “Paralympians, you have once again pushed the boundaries of human endeavour. Your logic-defying performances have focused the world not on what holds you back, but on what motivates you and pushes you forward. You have shown that with a strong mind and even stronger heart, you can achieve incredible feats. Ultimately, you have rewritten the theory of everything and given new purpose to possibility”.

The Pyeongchang games gave a new insight to Korea, providing the nation with a fresh perspective on the values of sportsmanship and inclusion that Paralympians bring when they come together. For the organizers, the staff, the regular citizens, and most importantly, the volunteersthe games makersit was a great opportunity to embrace diversity and differences among people.

asset_TL3_9798_12263_ioc_2018-03-18_154039.jpgArtists perform during the Closing Ceremony for The Paralympic Winter Games, PyeongChang, South Korea, Sunday 18th March 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC.

“I hope that these Games will serve the purpose as a turning point to realise its core values of courage and determination never to give up under any difficult circumstances whatsoever on one hand, and to make the world much more friendly and humane, without prejudice or discrimination, on the other” said Lee Hee-beom, president of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Organising Committee at his closing message.

A series of stunning fireworks display exploded all over the Olympic Stadium bringing the performance to its climax, officially closing out the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang.

asset_SB6_9237_12571_ioc_2018-03-18_161514.jpgFireworks erupt after the flame was extinguished during the Closing Ceremony for The Paralympic Winter Games, PyeongChang, South Korea, Sunday 18th March 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Simon Bruty for OIS/IOC.
 
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