Adaptive rowing as a sport is therapy without walls. It is suited for individuals with disabilities including paraplegics, quadriplegics, amputees and those with visual impairments.
- Participants must be able to use one or both upper extremities, even if there is limited strength, and understand the need for safety on and around the water.
- The basic techniques of adaptive rowing are the same as with able-bodied rowing - balance, timing, and oar work. The equipment, not the sport, is adapted and equipment adaptations are based on the needs of the individual rower. Adaptive rowing can be competitive, recreational, or both, and almost anyone can become a participant.
ABC Adaptive Goal: The goal of the Arkansas Boathouse Club Adaptive Rowing program is to extend opportunities for recreational and competitive rowing to adults and adolescents with disabilities.
ABC Adaptive Rowing : During 2011, ABC implemented adaptive rowing with individuals in the LTA (legs, trunk, arms) category. During the summer, adults who had limited use of their lower extremities participated in a rowing clinic. Following the clinic, participants had the opportunity to participate in a weekly rowing session throughout the summer. During the fall, high school students from the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired participated in a week and a half long rowing clinic that commenced with a scrimmage race.
Who can participate: Adults and adolescents with a physical disability including paraplegics, quadriplegics, amputees and those with visual impairment.
- 1.Legs, Trunk, Arms (LTA), for athletes who are able to use at least one leg, their trunk, and their arms, and for those with visual impairments or cognitive impairments (often referred to as TBI or traumatic brain injury). LTA athletes typically row in standard sculling or sweep shells with sliding seats, with the option of adding pontoons for extra stability.
- 2.Trunk and Arms (TA), for athletes who are able to use only their trunk muscles. The shells used by these athletes generally have fixed seats and pontoons for added stability, and sculling is most common.
- 3.Arms Only (A), for athletes with limited trunk control. The shells these athletes row have fixed seats and pontoons for stability, and the rower is strapped to the fixed seat both at the waist and at the upper chest level to allow only shoulder and arm movements
Benefits to athletes
- Engagement in activity
- This is one of the few sports that is performed in the same way it is performed by typical athletes by modifying the equipment, not the sport itself
- Learning team work
- Decrease risk of secondary conditions
- Opportunity to be competitive
Biography of Jessica Bisbee, Adaptive Rowing Coach
Jessica Bisbee is the current membership president and head coxswain for the ABC masters crew. She began coxing for the club during its first season and has coxed masters boats in head races for the past four years. She is also a graduate student of occupational therapy at the University of Central Arkansas. She will graduate with a master’s degree in August 2012.