About Lightning Wheels
Children’s Lightning Wheels, sponsored by Children’s Specialized Hospital, is a sports team for athletes ages 6 – 22 who have a primary diagnosis of a physical disability.
In the off season, team members have the opportunity to participate in other activities including a weekly work-out where participants work on increasing flexibility, range of motion, and strength and have the opportunity to attend various sport clinics.
We realize that all participants will not set records or compete on a national or international level but they will have benefited from being part of a team. Those benefits include: confidence, independence, self-esteem, camaraderie and the life-long friendships that develop. It is a known fact that participation in athletics helps to build a level of confidence in young people that will greatly contribute to their ability to meet life’s challenges. Many Children’s Lightning Wheels graduates have gone on to successful college and professional careers. They attribute their success, in part, to the experience they had as a member of the Children’s Lightning Wheels.
Athletic competition is one of the truest tests of the human spirit. Children’s Specialized Hospital and Children's Lightning Wheels is committed to nurturing that spirit in every way possible.
The objectives of the program are:
- To have fun!
- To make new friends.
- To increase independence, self-confidence and self-esteem in each athlete.
- To help each athlete understand the concept of goal setting and how to achieve those goals whether in sports, academia or personal life.
- To improve the level of physical fitness, through exercise, for each athlete.
- To improve the individual’s physical skill level through instruction and providing varied activities.
- To help establish an awareness of living a healthy lifestyle.
- To work with the complete individual or athlete - i.e. not concentrating only on the physical aspects of the activities but also taking into account other factors such as the social, emotional and psychological well-being of the individual.
- To increase individual effort and encourage team involvement.
- To promote a “carry-over” effect - i.e. to stimulate a desire within the athlete to continue pursuing any activity at his/her present activity level or at a greater level once he/she “graduates” from the program.
- To motivate the athlete to attempt a variety of new sports or activities.
- To increase the athlete’s awareness of his/her own individual capabilities by introducing different techniques through instruction and offering suggestions for modifications.
- To offer the opportunity to travel and see new places.
- To create a peer group for parents and family members.