Adapted Sports & Rec

paralympic sport club member

From sailing to cycling and golf to gardening, the HHH Adapted Sports & Recreation Program is a four-season initiative serving individuals with a range of abilities, interests and skills. Leisure opportunities are an important component of an active and healthy lifestyle, fostering rehabilitation, recovery and camaraderie, and the Adapted Sports & Rec Program is dedicated to offering a range of recreational and competitive events.

The program reaches out to current and former patients, as well as individuals living in the community who may be interested in trying out a new activity or resuming a sport or activity they may have enjoyed prior to acquiring a disability. Prior experience is not required to participate in any activity .

All activities are supervised by experienced staff, including recreational and physical therapists, taking into account individual needs and abilities. Adaptive equipment is available and used as necessary for all activities.

One element that has contributed to the program’s success is the partnerships it has with numerous sports-related organizations. The hospital’s clinical expertise in working with individuals with disabilities, combined with the organization’s expertise in a particular sport, creates a unique blend of knowledge and skill.

The Program is open to individuals with all types of disabilities, including  spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, cardiac conditions, orthopedic and neurological  disorders. Pre-registration is required for all programs and events.

During any sponsored event, any adaptive equipment that is needed will be supplied. Participants are also welcome to bring their own equipment. The hospital also offers an adaptive equipment loaner program and will provide assistance in helping individuals obtain funding for their own personal equipment.

For additional information, please contact Matthew Castelluccio, Adapted Sports Coordinator at 845-786-4950 OR castellucciom@helenhayeshosp.org

Helen Hayes Hospital is certified as a chapter of Disabled Sports USAA

Adapted Sports Video

Click here to watch the Classic Race & Fun Run 2014
Click here to watch the adapted sports: Double Amputee, Matt Learning Kayaking
Click here to watch the adapted sports: Kayaking video
Click here to watch the adapted sports: Sports & Recreation Expo by Richard
Click here to watch the adapted sports: Wheelchair Dancing Video
Click here to watch the adapted sports: Fishing at Bear Mountain Video

The Adapted Sports & Rec Program activities include the following:

Gardening: in cooperation with the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County. Discussion and demonstration on how to incorporate the use of adapted tools and techniques to make gardening possible and enjoyable despite any physical limitations. Gardening from a seated position, getting up off the ground, the availability of adapted devices and how to make accommodations for loss of strength or dexterity are all covered, along with how to amend soil, select, plant and maintain plants.

Basketball: in conjunction with the Newburgh YMCA. We meet monthly at the Newburgh Armory gym. Experienced players help coach novices and all participate in a scrimmage game following the drills. $10 fee per session.

Fishing: in conjunction with Bear Hill, Inc. We go to local lakes for accessible fishing. One session is held in June at Bear Mountain Hessian Lake on Free Fishing Day. A fishing license is required for all other sessions.

Golf: GolfAbility is an instructional program to teach the basics of golf, and promote golf as a rewarding leisure activity, to individuals with disabilities and mobility impairments. Prevents golfers from giving up the game due to injuries, orthopedic impairments, cardiopulmonary disease, stroke and other age related conditions. Workshops with an LPGA pro and outings are scheduled from May through September. Workshops take place at the GolfAbility center, which is located on the hospital campus. The center consists of a 1300 square foot synthetic putting green with six cups and three accessible netted tee areas. Participants learn how to use appropriate adaptive golf equipment, including single-rider carts. A single-rider cart is a specially equipped golf cart that allows a disabled golfer to play seated or standing, directly from the cart, and can be driven right on to the green. Participants must complete a GolfAbility application form in advance.

Handcycling: Hand cycling is an excellent aerobic exercise providing a cardiovascular workout similar to a treadmill or bicycle. It improves endurance and strength while also expanding exercise options for individuals with disabilities. A hand cycle is similar to a bicycle, with the user using his or her arms to propel the cycle instead of the legs. The Hospital is home to “Helen’s Angels,” a competitive hand cycling team.

Kayaking: an excellent water sport for all abilities. The Hospital provides the kayaks, specialized seating and any other needed adapted equipment. Instruction is provided in basic kayaking skills. The group meets at a local lake, on the shores of the Hudson River, or other accessible location.

Rowing: in conjunction with River Rowing Association of Nyack. Participants receive an introduction to rowing, a sport which builds endurance and strength. Boats and adaptive equipment provided. Rowing is an intense, thoroughly demanding physical activity and competitive sport.  Despite this, it is also a very low-impact sport that is suitable for athletes of all ages and abilities, from the young to the old.

Sailing: in conjunction with the Nyack Boat Club. The program offers individuals with physical disabilities the opportunity to learn to sail using adaptive equipment, including specially adapted sonar boats.  Experienced sailors from the Club’s Sonar Fleet 23, along with therapists from the hospital, provide an introductory skills workshop and an afternoon of sailing on the Hudson River. The day begins with an informal luncheon and panel discussion on adaptive sailing. Assistance is provided, as needed, for boarding, and one of the Club’s experienced sailors is on each boat, offering instruction and guidance on how to sail.

Snow Skiing: in conjunction with  Belleayre Mountain in Highmount, New York. Instructors specializing in adaptive skiing offer beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons. First time students receive an overview of the equipment and fittings prior to getting out on the snow. Adaptive equipment is available for skiers with disabilities.  Participants should come attired in appropriate winter/snow clothing.

Softball: in conjunction with the United Spinal Softball Team. A comprehensive lesson on how adapted softball is played. Team members bring adapted equipment and participants play a full game. Individuals of all physical abilities, including players using wheelchairs, are welcome to come and play or cheer the players on as a spectator.

Therapeutic Horseback Riding: in conjunction with Winslow Therapeutic Riding. We offer four-week sessions. There are many research articles validating the positive results of hippotherapy in improving trunk strength, balance, cognitive skills of memory and attention while also reducing tone and spasticity. The success of the rider further improves self-esteem and confidence.

Waterskiing: in conjunction with Leaps of Faith Water Ski Club. Open to novice and experienced water skiers. Adapted equipment provided along with instruction and a day out on the water.

Yoga: a basic Adapted Yoga program designed specifically for people of varying abilities. Yoga improves circulation, range of motion, flexibility and endurance. It also helps to reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

The instructor is experienced in adapting yoga to all levels of abilities. The classes offer an excellent opportunity for people with disabilities, including individuals with stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other  physically limiting conditions, to try yoga. Classes meet at the hospital.

2014 Adapted Sports & Rec Schedule

Pre-registration is required for all these programs & equipment is provided
Yoga –start up date – January 7th Series of 4-6 class sessions held on Wednesdays from 12pm-1pm (Call for more info or register)
Sports Expo – Saturday, April 11, 2015 11am-4pm Vendors, equipment, products, etc (Helen Hayes Hospital)
Sailing – Pre-clinic instruction Thursday, May 7; Sailing Date Fri May 15 (Nyack, NY)
Rowing – TBD 9am-1pm (Rockland Lake State Park, Congers, NY)
GolfAbility – Monday, May 4, May 11, May 18, June 1 , June 8 (Driving Range), June 15, June 22 (Outing), June 29, (Helen Hayes)
Gardening – Saturday May 30 (Helen Hayes)
Handcycling Clinic @ Rockland Lake– June 25th , July 21 , August 10th, August 24th (Congers, NY)
Softball Clinic – Wednesday, June 10th & September 9th (Helen Hayes)
Fishing – Saturday, June 27th (Lake Hessian, Bear Mountain)
Adaptive Rock Climbing – Thursday January 15th 5:30pm-8:00pm, March 21st 9am-1pm, October 17th 9am-1pm (Valhalla, NY)
Waterskiing – July 28th & August 20th (Sandy Hook, CT) Transportation Available (limited availability)
Wheelchair Basketball – Dates TBD (Newburgh, NY)
Glider Plane Clinic – Friday September 18th (Blairstown, NJ)
Kayak Clinic –July 7th (Raindate: July 9th) & August 4th (raindate August 6th) Pre-evaluation in pool needed prior to clinic(Stony Point, NY)
Wheelchair Airsoft (Middletown, NY)
Adaptive Archery & Fly Fishing – Date TBD (Helen Hayes)

For more information on these events, please call Matt Castelluccio at 845-786-4950.

More dates and activities to follow. Please refer to this page or the Calendar for the most up-to-date information.


  • A A A
  • Comments are closed.