Sports Gear and Accessible Vans: The Logistics of Adaptive Sports

Jun 25, 2013
Tagged with: Sports Gear and Accessible Vans:  The Logistics of Adaptive Sports

Basketball,  Tennis,  Waterskiing,   Snow skiing, Rugby, and  Volleyball, have all been adapted for play by wheelchair users. In fact, wheelchair paintball is gaining momentum these days. Sports at all levels have logistics issues—transporting players, coaches, and equipment to the court, field, gym, mountain, lake, wherever. While pro teams and world-class athletes (with sponsors who provide money for logistical needs) have it easier dealing with logistics.…

Wheelchair athletes and teams at local and regional levels typically have to fend for themselves when it comes to ferrying equipment and players to sports venues. Many adaptive sports require wheelchairs or other equipment specially designed for maximum maneuverability, physical movement, and safety. The wheelchairs, in particular, are not made for standard, day-to-day use and must be transported to and from events along with the athlete in an everyday wheelchair.

For a wheelchair sports participant or the parents of a wheelchair athlete with a substantial amount of equipment, wheelchair vans can easily accommodate a wheelchair user, adaptive equipment, and passengers—and you don’t necessarily have to purchase one!

The Inside Story

As you’d imagine, these vans have specially designed wheelchair ramp access and seating, which can be customized for your needs.  Most wheelchair van conversions have cargo space for equipment and seating for other passengers. If you have multiple athletes and/or considerable equipment (handcycling, sled hockey, several sports wheelchairs) to get from here to there, a full-size van might serve you better, but for other sports (basketball, soccer, softball) for which less equipment is required,  an accessible minivan can provide space for one or two wheelchair athletes, additional passengers, and gear.

When considering an adapted minivan for wheelchair athletics, give some thought to the exit/entry ramp, which can be either on the side or at the rear of the vehicle. Depending on your sport, one style might be more appropriate than the other. Adaptive seating for accessible vans allows you to configure the cabin seating (including the location of the wheelchair user) to maximize the space for passengers and sports gear.

Seasonal Support

To every sport there is a season, which means you don’t have to buy a mobility van if you’ve already got accessible transportation during the off-season. Most non-professional sports have relatively short seasons, which means you’d only need the assistance of an  accessible van for three or four months—so simply rent a van for the season.

Most online and local wheelchair van dealers have rental vans for short-term or long-term periods. As a long-term renter, you’re in the perfect position to negotiate a super deal. If you rent an accessible van from the same mobility dealer season after season, it’s likely you’ll start getting outstanding bargain rates on your annual rental—and saving money is always in season!White AMS Van Side Entry Rear Door Open Removable Seat

Author: Susan Hawkins

  • Duke Well

    It’s great how all these popular sports are still available for wheelchair users. I like how paintball is even gaining strides! Thanks for sharing.

  • bobl07

    Thank you for your comments