Sports Association Programs
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Click on the programs below to learn more.
Ski and snowboard trips: The Sports Association ski program partners with Stride Adaptive Sports at Ski Sundown in New Hartford, CT. Trips are scheduled January through March and include transportation from Gaylord Hospital to the mountain, specialized or standard ski equipment rental, lift ticket, and a 2-hour individualized lesson. Come enjoy the slopes with us! Please note that some restrictions apply for this program. Annual doctor’s note required. There is a $50 fee for each trip.
Archery Clinics: Archery clinics participants learn archery in a safe, fun and supportive atmosphere with beginner instruction and an individualized approach. We offer clinics throughout the year, indoors and outdoors. Instruction is provided by certified therapeutic recreation specialists and certified archery instructors. These clinics are offered at no cost to participants.
Archery Club: The Sports Association Adaptive Archery Club meets throughout the year for indoor and outdoor practice at Gaylord Hospital. The club is designed for Sports Association members who have physical disability or visual impairment. This is a great opportunity for regular archery practice with a certified archery coach. Benefits of archery include increasing body strength, focus, flexibility, and attention skills. The club is desgined for participants who have prior experience with archery and are able to shoot independently with modification or adaptation. The Adaptive Archery Club is a member of USA Archery and is proud to be the first Adaptive Archery Club in Connecticut. We support USA Archery and membership in the Adaptive Archery Club requires USA Archery membership.
Boccia Clinic/Open Play Nights: The Sports Association offers participants the opporunity to learn about and try the Paralympic sport of boccia. Boccia is a throwing sport of precision which has been adapted for athletes with mild to severe physical disabilities using a few modifications. The object is to place the ball closest to the target ball by throwing or rolling the ball using a ramp. Games are played one on one, in pairs, and in teams of three. All are welcome to learn this game of skill and strategy.
Annual Adaptive Cycle Clinic: Our annual adaptive cycling clinic provides the opportunity to work with trained professionals to adapt to the sport of cycling and overcome physical impairments. Participants in the clinic will be able to explore dozens of adaptive cycles and find the best equipment for them. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from Bike-On.com, TiTrikes, and Northeast Passage. Registration is open to adults with a physical disability. The clinic is usually held in May. There is no cost for this event.
Cycle Rides: Designed for cyclists of all abilities, our adaptive cycle rides are open to adults with physical disabilities. Each ride may break into several groups based on ability, speed and distance desired to meet the needs of each rider. All cyclists and volunteers must register for each ride by calling the Sports Association. You may bring your own cycle or reserve a cycle from our fleet. New members who would like to borrow one of our cycles may be asked to do a pre-fitting before the day of the ride. Rides meet at 450 Jarvis Street in Cheshire, CT and follow the Farmington Canal Rail Trail, which is a closed trail, free from traffic. This program runs from May through September. There is no cost for this program.
Adaptive Golf Clinics: Adaptive Golf Clinics are designed to provide golfers with physical disabilities the opportunity to work with trained professionals and experienced volunteers to adapt the sport of golf and overcome physical impairments. Participants in the clinic will receive instruction from golf professionals and certified recreation therapists to give the best possible instruction and support independence. Golf equipment is provided. Clinics are offered year-round at Gaylord Hospital, either outdoors on the South Lawn, or indoors in the Roncari Recreation Hall. The clinics are at no cost to our Sports Association members.
Adaptive Golf Club: The Sports Association’s Adaptive Golf Club is open to golfers with a physical disability or visual impairment who are able to complete 9 holes of play independently at a reasonable rate of play. The Golf Club meets weekly throughout the summer at Orange Hills Country Club, Sleeping Giant Golf Course, and The Farms Country Club. Club outings are run by volunteer golf coaches. The $10 annual membership fee includes the option to participate in all golf outings. New members must apply to join the club.
Ken Murphy Memorial Open - KMMO: Formerly known as the "GHO," Gaylord Hospital Open, this annual 9-hole golf tournament provides an opportunity for individuals with a physical disability or a visual impairment to compete in a friendly competition against other golfers with similar ability levels. Participants should be able to golf independently or with an adaptive golf cart. The tournament awards prizes to the three lowest twosomes and offers prizes for contests, such as closest to the pin. The “For the Love of the Game” recognition award is also presented at the KMMO luncheon, which is given to an individual who exemplifies a “tireless passion for the game of golf,” and is in honor of long-time golf member Paul Hickey. The KMMO has drawn publicity such as news articles in the Record Journal and coverage on NBC Channel 30, and Channel 8. The tournament is traditionally held on the second Monday of June at the Farms Country Club in Wallingford, CT
Our Adaptive Kayak program is designed to introduce new paddlers to the sports, guide individuals with previous experience in finding out what modifications may be needed, and to provide an opportunity for open water paddling.
Kayak Classes: Adaptive Kayak Classes are held indoors at Gaylord Hospital in the Flagg Pool. “Pool 1” is an introduction to kayaking, parts of the boat, paddle strokes, modifications and transfers. Participants will have the opportunity to be fit to a boat, practice paddle strokes and learn more about the sport of adaptive kayaking in our heated pool. “Pool 2” provides education on basic kayaking safety and skills to allow for continued paddling success. This includes completing a wet exit and exposure to recovery techniques. This two session class is held on Fridays four times per year (February, April, June, November). Classes are taught by ACA certified kayak instructors. There is no cost for this program. Essential Eligibility Requirements apply for this class (contact us or see FAQ’s for more information).
Open Water Outings: Open water kayak outings provide the opportunity for participants to practice skills learned in the kayak classes in the open water. Open water outings are offered during the summer months in collaboration with New Haven Parks and Recreation. Outings occur at varying locations including Lighthouse Point in New Haven (ocean) and Wintergreen Lake (fresh water) in New Haven. In order to join the Sports Association for an open water paddle, participants must have successfully completed both Pool 1 and Pool 2 kayaking sessions. There is a $15 fee for kayak outings.
The Paratriathlon Training Program: This progam is for adult athletes with a physical disability or visual impairment who would like to train and compete in a sprint-length triathlon. This program is brought to you by the Sports Association of Gaylord Hospital in collaboration with Valley Shore YMCA. Athletes may choose to compete in all three legs of the event, or as part of a relay team. The program includes coaching, equipment, a 3-month YMCA membership, group training sessions and volunteer training partners to help athletes reach their goals. Interested athletes must apply and be selected to participate in the program. Applications are due in April and athletes train from June through race day in September at the Dave Parcells Madison Triathlon. For more information, please contact the Sports Association.
Gaylord Jammers Wheelchair Rugby Team: This team is Connecticut’s only wheelchair rugby team and competes in tournaments throughout the northeast. The team was formed in 1991 and came under the sponsorship of the Sports Association in 1996. The team is a member of the United States Quad Rugby Association (USQRA) and plays from September through January in competition against other registered teams. Practices are one day per week throughout the season and the team is always looking for new players and volunteers, so come on out and join in on the fun and competition! For more information on Wheelchair Rugby or joining the team, please contact the Sports Association.
Adaptive Rock Climbing Clinic: This clinic is offered to individuals with a physical disability or visual impairment who are interested in learning about and trying adaptive rock climbing with instruction from professional climbers, adaptive sport specialists, and adaptive climbers. This clinic is brought to you by the Gaylord Sports Association in collaboration with Ascent Climbing and Prime Climb. This free clinic is usually held in the spring at Prime Climb, an indoor climbing gym in Wallingford, CT.
Gaylord Sports Association Wolfpack Sled Hockey Team: The Gaylord Wolfpack is the only sled hockey team in Connecticut for individuals with a physical disability. The team was started by the Chariots of Hope in 2003 and came under the management of the Sports Association in February of 2015. The team is a member of the Northeast Sled Hockey League (NESHL) and competes all over New England and within Canada. The season runs from September through May and practices are held weekly. Contact the Sports Association for more information or if you are interested in joining the team.
Connecticut Hornets Wheelchair Tennis Team: The Connecticut Hornets Wheelchair Tennis Team was formed in 1999 as the first wheelchair tennis team in Connecticut. The Hornets practice weekly during the tennis season on Gaylord's courts in Wallingford, CT. The team is coached by a USTA certified instructor. Team members have participated in wheelchair tennis camps as well as tournaments across the US. The Connecticut Hornets are a member of the wheelchair division of the USTA. Interested individuals are welcome to join us for a practice.
SAVES: Sports Association Veteran Event Series: Designated programming for veterans began with the Connecticut Wounded Warrior Project in 2009, and is now offered as our SAVES program. The SAVES program is geared specifically to veterans who have experienced a disability. Our veteran-specific programming has included kayaking, fishing, waterskiing, adaptive cycling and a challenge course. We also encourage veteran participation in any of our regular programs, to not only offer a wider range of opportunities, but to support veterans in attaining a healthy lifestyle, better quality of life, and new peer relationships.
Fishing Tournaments: Our most popular veterans' program is our annual fishing tournament, which started in 2012. In collaboration with CT Bass Nation and the Major Steven Roy Andrews Fishing Outreach Program, we offer two adaptive fishing tournaments per year, in May and September. Events have been held at Candlewood Lake and Riverside Park in CT and at Lake Congamond in MA. The tournaments offer each veteran the unique opportunity to be paired with an experienced angler who provides the tournament boat, equipment and instruction. The tournament includes an awards luncheon. For an information and application packet, please contact the Sports Association.
Veterans' Golf Class: The Sports Association offers a 6-week golf class for veterans with a disability, including a physical disability, PTSD, or visual impairment, who are interested in learning about and trying the game of golf. Professional instruction is provided by local PGA professionals trained in adaptive golf techniques and equipment. The class includes clubs, training aids, range balls and weekly access to a driving range and/or golf course.
Veterans' Adaptive Archery Clinics: In 2018, the Sports Association added Adaptive Archery Clinics to the SAVES program. These 2-hour clinics, which are held at Gaylord Hospital, give veterans the opportunity to learn archery in a safe, fun and supportive atmosphere with beginner instruction and an individualized approach.
Water Ski Clinics: Adaptive water ski clinics offer participants with a physical disability the opportunity to try, learn and progress in this fast and exciting water sport. Our goal is for participants to experience waterskiing in a fun, safe and supportive environment. Instruction is provided by USA Waterski Certified instructors, recreation therapists and expert water skiers. We welcome both new and experienced skiers to enjoy a day of skiing on Pachaug Pond, located in Griswold, CT. Interested participants must provide an MD note, pass a water safety test and all Essential Eligibility Requirements. This adaptive sports clinic is offered during summer months at no cost to members. Please contact us for more information.
Seated Yoga Class: The Sports Association offers seated yoga classes throughout the year. This class is led by a certified yoga instructor. The practice of yoga can lead to many health benefits including improved flexibility, posture, circulation, and strength. Practicing adaptive yoga can be modified for any participant, including those recovering from strokes, surgery, MS and arthritis, and is open to individuals with physical disabilities or visual impairments.