Sure, it snowed last week, but now the sun is shining and it feels like we may have finally emerged from the winter that wouldn’t end. With its beautiful waterfront and plenty of parks, Kingston is a city that really comes alive in the spring. Everyone wants to get active and enjoy the weather while we have it. For some people, though, traditional sports aren’t the right choice because of inaccessible facilities, mobility impairments, or other needs. For others, trying out an adapted sport is just a great way to learn a new skill and challenge yourself. Here, a guide to resources for adapted sports in the Kingston community.
Able Sail Kingston
Kingston is a water city. Getting out on the lake in sailboat is such a nice way to see the shoreline and explore the Thousand Islands. Able Sail is an organization that pairs volunteers with sailors in an adapted skiff, completed with a heavy keel that prevents capsizing. Hand lines control the sails, and a motorized lift transfers the clients from their mobility device into the sailboat. Able Sail runs out of the Kingston Yacht Club, and there’s another chapter not far away at CFB Trenton. No experience is necessary; the Learn to Sail program is a perfect option for beginners. Check out their website to learn more.
Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Paralympic Committee is a resource for competitive athletes, but they also have lots of information about more recreational activities, including rowing, taekwondo, and seated volleyball. Take a look at their list of links to learn more about a huge array of adaptive sports.
This program is geared towards adults that want to enjoy physical activity that is more recreational than competitive, like bowling and dancing. An annual membership is about seventy dollars, with support persons being admitted for free. The programming runs out of the Artillery Park centre, which will have its grand re-opening next week. The centre now has a variety of accessibility features. Also running out of Artillery Park is a therapeutic adaptive yoga program.
Through Queen’s and St. Mary’s of the Lake hospital, Revved Up runs an adapted strength and aerobic exercise program. Participants work one-on-one with volunteers in a program that is tailored to their gym needs. Some of the adapted exercise equipment includes arm bikes, wheelchair treadmills, resistance bands, and rickshaw weight machines. Every few months, the program runs social events such as an adapted curling bonspiel, a wheelchair obstacle course, and barbecues. Learn more here.
SCI Action Canada
This organization advocates for people living with spinal cord injuries ad provides resources about getting active. The SCI Action website is a great resource for learning about physical activity guidelines (meaning how active a person should be to improve fitness). SCI Action also provides information about a wide range of adaptive sports, such as wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis, and swimming. They have many links for people living in Eastern Ontario.
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario
Formerly known as the Canadian Paraplegic Association, SCIO works with clients that have spinal cord injuries in a variety of ways. Some of the client services include connecting individuals with adapted exercise and sports. SCI also often runs events that involve adaptive sports. Even when not directly related to sports, the SCIO site has information about beach wheelchairs, accessible scuba diving, and other adaptive programming for the summer.
At this club, kids can try a few different adapted sports. The Y Knot Abilities program is for children with disabilities and their able-bodied siblings, and the youth try activities like swimming, roller racing, and wheelchair basketball with 12 sport chairs. Regular programming starts early in September. Learn more here.
Credit for the photos associated with this guide to Siobhán Silke.