The Sports Association of Gaylord Hospital provides adaptive sports and recreation programs to adults with physical disabilities in the state of Connecticut and throughout the Northeast. We are dedicated to improving the lives of persons with physical disabilities through adaptive sports and recreation. Our goal is to empower individuals to embrace new challenges, reach beyond the barriers and discover what is possible through adaptive sports. We provide opportunities to participate in over a dozen sports throughout the year. Individuals with a permanent physical disability or visual impairment are encouraged to join the program and participate in events. Please explore the webpage for information on our specific sport offerings and how to get involved.
Who is eligible to participate in the Sports Association?
We serve individuals ages 16 and up with a permanent physical disability or visual impairment. Our participants include people who have experienced a spinal cord injury, amputation, stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, visual impairment, neurological conditions, post-traumatic stress disorder and other related disabilities. Veterans who meet our criteria are encouraged to participate. If you are interested but not sure if you are eligible, please give us a call!
What is the cost to participate?
Thanks to extensive support from donors, sponsors, grants and fundraising, all of our programs are offered for a minimal fee or at no cost. Our Adaptive Sport Clinics and Discovery Nights are always free. Club sports, teams, classes, tournaments and special events may have a fee associated with participation. We do offer sponsorships to individuals who need financial assistance to participate. Please contact us for more information.
Who provides your services?
Programs are organized by the Sports Association staff at Gaylord Hospital. Our staff includes CTRS’s (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists) and Adaptive Sport Specialists. Programs are run by our staff, certified instructors, certified coaches and trained volunteers.
Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, also known as Recreational Therapists, are specifically trained to provide treatment services designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities. Recreational therapists promote health and wellness by utilizing a wide range of activity and community based interventions, one of which is adaptive sports. A CTRS must meet eligibility requirements through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, which includes a bachelor’s degree or higher in an accredited Therapeutic Recreation program, an extensive internship, passing a knowledge based exam and recertification every five years. For more information, please visit www.atra-online.com.
How do I join the Sports Association?
Joining the Sports Association is easy and free! New members should complete a member profile and annual waiver to join. Once completed, these can be mailed, emailed or faxed to our office. If you are not sure about becoming a member, but want to stay connected, please complete an interest sheet. All forms may be downloaded from the website. You can also request to have a new member packet mailed to you – just complete the Contact Form below and let us know how we can help you!
Why join the Sports Association?
We believe that everyone, regardless of ability level, should have the opportunity to enjoy sports and recreation opportunities. We will work with you to reach your adaptive sports goals, whether that may be to try a new activity, return to a past leisure pursuit, or strive to be a Paralympic athlete, we can help you to get there. People who lead active, satisfying lifestyles are happier and healthier, and that’s a perfect reason to get involved. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet other people, try new activities, challenge yourself and explore the possibilities of adaptive sports!
How do I register for a program?
Since our programs provide individualized instruction, we require advanced registration and prior completion of required forms for all programs. To register, participants should call the Sports Association at 203-284-2772 to be added to the registration list for the program of your choice. To finalize your registration, you may be required to complete our member forms, update your profile or sign our annual waiver. Some programs have additional requirements which we will notify you of upon your registration. If we have reached the maximum number of participants for a program, you will be placed on a waiting list.
What is Essential Eligibility Criteria?
Our watersport programs (Kayak and Waterski) require participants to meet Essential Eligibility Criteria prior to participation. All participants must meet the following criteria:
What is your cancellation policy?
- Be able to breath independently without any medical devices.
- Pass a water safety test:
- Feel comfortable in the water:
- Float on back independently with a properly fitted PFD
- Hold breath while under water
- Propel self in water
- Right oneself independently (turn from face down to face up) and remain face up in the water with a properly fitted personal floatation device (PFD)
- Be able to exit the watercraft or ski independently in the event of a capsize and right oneself to remain face up with the aid of a PFD.
- Be able to manage all personal care and mobility independently or with the minimal assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
- Additional criteria may apply, please contact us for details.
Although we don’t ever like to cancel, there are times when we must cancel a program. Participant safety is our main priority and inclement weather will cancel an outdoor program. The Sports Association Programs may also be cancelled for low registration or other unforeseen circumstances. In the event of a cancellation, we will contact all participants as soon as possible via phone, email, or both. If there was a fee for the program, participants will be refunded.
We ask that all participants call us to cancel their registration as soon as possible if you are no longer able to attend. Our programs are often limited to a small number of people and we would like to offer your place to another participant if you cannot attend. If you are registered for a program and do not attend without cancelling, we reserve the right to place you on the waiting list for the next program you would like to attend. Fee based programs may not be refundable upon participant cancellation.
How do I become a volunteer?
The Sports Association relies on volunteers to run over 100 programs each year. We are continuously recruiting new volunteers to help us with regular programming, special events and team sports. Volunteer opportunities range from a dedicated volunteer position to a one-time special event volunteer. Additional information is available in our volunteer information packet [link to PDF]. Feel free to contact us to discuss the opportunities.
How can I support the program?
There are many ways to get involved in supporting the Sports Association. Opportunities include volunteering, sponsoring a program or event, making a donation, fundraising, participating in a fundraising event or referring our program to people who may benefit. If you are interested in making a donation, please click here. If you would like more information on sponsoring a program or event, please contact us for more information.