Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wheelchair basketball competition Oct. 26 at Cuyamaca College

Players competing in the 2010 wheelchair basketball game at Cuyamaca College

The always rousing wheelchair basketball game, where tumbles and spills are as much a part of the action as the pivoting and spinning of custom-built wheelchairs across the gym floor, is set for noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Cuyamaca College gym as part of the college’s annual commemoration of National Disability Awareness Month.
The game, in its 14th year, is being coordinated by the college’s Disabled Students Programs and Services office and men’s basketball coach Rob Wojtkowski.  
Free and open to the public, the five-on-five games feature a mix of Cuyamaca’s basketball team, staff from DSPS, members of Club ABLED and student government playing alongside members of the SoCalSol Wheelchair League team.  The teams are mixed so that the wheelchair league athletes don’t completely dominate the scoreboard, said Mary Asher-Fitzpatrick, a DSPS learning disabilities specialist.
The SoCalSol team is a newly formed team in San Diego, comprising members of the former SDXpress team and other wheelchair basketball players.
The game’s purpose is to open people’s eyes to what wheelchair athletes can accomplish, and typically has Cuyamaca’s able-bodied athletes taking spills from the low-to-the-ground chairs specially designed for speed and maneuverability.
“The focus of Disabilities Awareness Month is to teach and increase awareness of how capable people with disabilities actually are,” Asher-Fitzpatrick said. “This event is a great time of coming together and a wonderful educational experience that includes a lot of fun and excitement for students, faculty, staff, administration, board members, and community spectators. Any spectators and students are welcome to play in the game.”
Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego. For campus and driving maps, visit http://www.cuyamaca.edu/map&directions.asp or call (619) 660-4236.