Wheelchair Sports Federation | Adaptive Sports Organization
Wheelchair Sports Federation Takes Part in BGC Partners 7th Annual Charity Day Print E-mail
Written by John Hamre   

Wall Street Fundraiser Commemorating 9/11

NEW YORK, NY, Sep 10, 2011 - As part of BGC's seventh annual Charity Day taking place on Monday, September 12, 2011, Wheelchair Sports Federation (WSF), along with numerous other charities, will receive donations from BGC Partners and recognition from a host of celebrities.

The celebrity guest list includes Danny Aiello and Richard Thomas, both are are devoted supporters of Wheelchair Sports Federation and Adaptive Sports throughout the United States. Paralympic Gold Medalist, Nick Springer, will also be in attendance.  

BGC Partners, Inc. was created by Cantor Fitzgerald in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks as Cantor Fitzgerald sought to re-build its business after losing 658 of its employees, which represented two thirds of its workforce in New York. To commemorate those who were lost, BGC Partners donates 100% of its revenues from Charity Day to selected charities around the world. Last year's event raised over $10 million in a single day for worthy causes.

Guests will conduct real trades with BGC's clients, which include major banks and investment banks, over the phone from the trading floor alongside a licensed broker. All of the revenue raised that day will be donated to charities. 

The event is taking place in the financial district of Manhattan at One Seaport Plaza, 199 Water Street, on the 19th Floor. Guests will begin arriving at 8am, with events running through to 4pm.

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 September 2011 17:54
New York City - Track and Field Summer Clinics Print E-mail
Written by John Hamre   


From July 12th through August 16th the CityParks Foundation, with support from Paralympic Sport Club New York and The Wheelchair Sports Federation, hosted a track & field summer clinic series for children with physical disabilities. The clinics were held at Thomas Jefferson Park in Manhattan. The clinic series hosted 65 athletes from Camp Wanaqua for children with visual impairments and the Cross Island YMCA camp for children with multiple disabilities. The clinic series concluded on August 17th with a track meet at Icahn Stadium. The athletes competed alongside 1100 able-bodied children from all around the New York City area.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 September 2011 17:16
11th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   


Opens Singles and Doubles Titles are Welch’s Again

Written by Peter Quartuccio


FLUSHING, NY—For the second consecutive year, Stephen Welch of the United States stood triumphant and alone—save, of course, for his Doubles teammate Anthony Anderson—at the 11th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on June 12, 2011.  The four day event saw the second seeded Welch face tremendous competition to retain his crown, including the blistering serve of Columbian Eliecer Oquendo in the Semifinals and the excellent forehand of England’s Alexander Jewitt in the Championship match.  In the end, despite an inconsistent serve and top competition, Welch’s remarkable court coverage and ability to respond when he needed a big point enabled him to best them all, securing the Men’s Open Division Singles title. 

            He found similar challenges, and success, in pursuit of his second straight Open Division Doubles Championship as well.  He and the aforementioned Anderson took on the team of Jewitt and his partner John Becker in the final, with the latter team enjoying an early advantage.  Leading 3 games to 1 in the opening set, Jewitt and Becker looked like they might be able to pull off the upset, when Welch and Anderson responded by winning 8 of the next 9 games, including a span where they rattled off 7 in a row.  Jewitt and Becker looked dazed in the second set following the tremendous comeback, and were beaten in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.


            Other Divisions saw some tremendous competition as well.  Hector Maldonado-Gonzalez knocked off top seed Scott Bonk, second seed William Eno (who played well despite suffering a torn rotator cuff in last year’s tournament), and four seed William Lehr en route to his A Division Singles Title.  A compelling story developed in the Men’s B Division Singles Quarterfinals, as the only woman competitor in the B Division Jocelyn Dettloff gave first seeded David Gant all that he could handle in the first set of their match.  In the end, Gant won the first set via tiebreak, and took the second and final set as well, but Dettloff’s opening set performance wowed those in attendance. American Ralffy Diaz took home the B Division Singles Championship, who like Maldonado-Gonzalez, beat the 1, 2, and 4 seeds on his way to the title.  In the C Division Singles, American Ricardo Corral had to conquer the top 2 seeds to take the title, and did so in straight sets, and Michael Sullivan of the U.S. made short work of his opponents in the D Division, winning the title in straight sets as well.

            The team of Scott Bonk and William Eno won the A Division Doubles title, besting the upstart pairing of Miguel Lozada and Hector Maldonado-Gonzalez in straight sets.  Ralffy Diaz and Jerry Russell took care of the 1 and 2 seeds in their run to the B Division Doubles Championship, and top seeded Chris Herman and Steven Riley had the distinction of being one of the very few 1 seeds to win their Division’s Championship, earning the C Doubles crown. In the D Division Doubles, the team of Nathan Melnyk and Michael Sullivan won the title in straight sets.

            For more information about this and other adapted sports and events, please visit www.WheelchairSportsFederation.org. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 02:15
NY Mets buddy up with Wheelchair Softball Players Print E-mail
Written by John Hamre   


NEW YORK -- Billy Hannigan is a lifelong Mets fan from Queens who threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the club's contest against the Pirates on Tuesday.

But several hours before he took the mound, Hannigan taught some of his favorite Mets players a slightly different game -- wheelchair softball.

"No, not at all," Mets pitcher Dillon Gee said when asked if it was as easy as it looked. "These guys, they make it look easy. But they're so good at it."

 Several Mets players and coaches joined dozens of members of the Wheelchair Sports Federation on Tuesday afternoon in Lot D outside Citi Field as part of the Mets' and Citi's "Teammates in the Community Week" program. The parking lot was converted to a wheelchair softball field, with home plate from Shea Stadium serving as second base.


"To have them play alongside us, it doesn't get any better," Hannigan said. "I'm grinning ear to ear. It's a nice day. Who's got it better than me?"

That optimistic approach has served Hannigan and many like him well. In the Army from 1992-95, Hannigan was injured in a motorcycle accident 16 years ago.

John Hamre, president of WSF, has helped bring awareness to the disabled community, offering triathlons, tennis and football, among other sports.

Last August, Citi Field became the first Major League ballpark to host the National Wheelchair Softball Tournament, with 14 teams from across the country competing during a three-day span at Lots F and D. This year's national tournament will take place from Aug. 11-13 in Omaha, Neb.


Hamre helps with the teams throughout the area. The Mets are in their 10th year sponsoring a team.

On Tuesday, Carlos Beltran, Scott Hairston and several other Mets signed autographs and took pictures with WSF members before trying their hands at wheelchair softball.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen tossed underhand pitches to Beltran and Gee, who learned how difficult it is to swing and hit while confined to a chair.

"It's great," Gee said. "It's a lot of fun for us to come out here and play this game that they've been playing all these years and teach us a little bit how to do it."

The 40-year-old Hannigan, now the director for adaptive sports at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, N.Y., said he was taken aback by how big some of the players were after watching them so many times on television.

Hamre was thankful for the Mets' support.

"It means a lot to the organization and to these sports groups," Hamre said. "These guys sacrifice every day more than most, and this appearance from the Mets players is very rewarding."

Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


Last Updated on Thursday, 02 June 2011 04:26
Wheelchair Sports Federation President speaks to Columbia University Graduates Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   


The Wheelchair Sports Federation President, John Hamre, was the Keynote Speaker at the Convocation and Awards Ceremony for the Columbia University Doctor of Physical Theraphy graduates on Tuesday May 17, 2011.  "It was an honor and humbling experience to speak to the next generation of Physical Therapists before they embark on their careers", Mr. Hamre said.  He continued, "Many of the students, now graduates, have volunteered at Wheelchair Sports Federation events and we hope they learned first hand about the importance sports can be in a disabled person's life".


WSF would like to congratulate all of the Graduates of Columbia University's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.  We wish them the best and as Mr. Hamre said in his address, "We use the term PUSH HARD a lot when we deal with Wheelchair Sports but is also has another meaning that alludes to success.  If you are waiting for good things to just happen, you may be waiting a while.  PUSH HARD! Continue to push yourselves hard and your patients hard and I guarantee you that they will be grateful." 


Mr.Hamre also wanted to thank Victor Calise and Bill Hannigan for taking time out of their busy schedules to join the proceedings  And to the Columbia University's Doctor of Physical Therapy Faculty, Staff, Dr. Joel Stein, Dr Risa Granick, Julie Wilska and Brittney Ravettine for their gracious hospitality and $1,000 gift they made to support Adaptive Sports Programs. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 May 2011 02:06
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