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Mississippi WheelCats

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 62 K
Funding amount
The Mississippi WheelCats is a wheelchair basketball team under the umbrella of The Mississippi Youth Wheelchair League, Inc. (MYWheeLs). MYWheeLs exists to provide adaptive sports for children with a lower limb disability at minimal to no cost to them or their family to participate, no matter their economic status, race, religion or sex. MYWheeLs gives children the opportunity to be part of a sports team, travel, and to try different wheelchair sports to enhance their lives and possibly open the door to higher education and the Paralympics.

This project, the Mississippi WheelCats has traditionally been a wheelchair basketball team for children and youth with spinal cord injuries and lower limb disabilities. In assessing and listening to needs in the community we are adding a young adult competitive team. The teams are part of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) in the Southeastern Region of the United States. Children living with spinal cord injuries have the opportunity to play sports on a competitive level. As our team members, past and present, age out of varsity and transition to adulthood, the young adult team will provide a competitive opportunity for physical activity and social engagement furthering independence. This project will allow participants to play adaptive sports, gain independence skills, build self-confidence and afford participants to travel to tournaments out of state, thus expanding their horizons.

Expected outcomes of this project are: to increase participation of individuals with spinal cord injuries in the program from all over the state of Mississippi through awareness activities, to increase stamina and upper body strength through conditioning which aids in a healthier lifestyle for individuals living with SCI and to increase & enhance independence among youth and adults with SCI, not only in adaptive sports but with their activities of daily living (ADL’s).

Through recreational adaptive sports activities; children, youth and adults are encouraged to become physically active, socially engaged and emotionally enriched. Physical activity leads to a healthier lifestyle, increases stamina and reduces the risk of illness. Being socially engaged removes feelings of isolation, builds confidence and self-esteem. The friendships and network that develops forms lasting bonds. Emotionally, our participants gain a stronger sense of self-worth adopting the “no limits” mindset, realizing that they can accomplish whatever their dreams are. The project is far greater than just sports, rather, through the means of adaptive sports the needs of the whole person is being addressed.

(CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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    1117 Public Health and Health Services

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Behavioral and Social Science

  • RCDC


  • Health Research Areas