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Adaptive and Recreational Sports for People with Spinal Cord Injuries

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 63 K
Funding amount
1) Adaptive and Recreational Sports for People with Spinal Cord Injuries

2) In 1996, Turnstone introduced its adaptive sports program. Prior to then, team sports for people with mobility limitations, including spinal cord injuries, did not exist in northeast Indiana. Over the years, we have developed one of the most comprehensive adaptive sports programs in the nation, managing nine teams in six sports with 230 athletes. Competitive sports include wheelchair basketball, power soccer, track and field, sled hockey and wheelchair rugby. The agency also hosts tournaments and clinics for these sports, as well as monthly social activities.

Turnstone has experienced incredible growth in the last three years, including becoming a US Paralympic Training Site. This has elevated Turnstone to the national stage and provided a pipeline to help athletes develop skills. In addition, we have seen a significant growth in our impact, including providing sporting tournaments for more than 3,500 athletes with disabilities from across the United States and serving 43 individuals with spinal cord injuries in our programs.

In growing this program, Turnstone has created a resource that is having a profound impact. As we provide more people with disabilities with more activities, as well as host larger national tournaments, we need increased financial support. Because Turnstone will not turn away athletes with restricted income, ongoing support is vital.

Through the proposed funding, Turnstone will further advance the mission of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation as we both seek to empower people with spinal cord injuries across their lifespans. Athletes with spinal cord injuries participating in sports programming enhance their quality of life by becoming involved in the community. Athletes learn the essential skills of time management, personal presentation, and communication. Through their commitment to an active lifestyle, our athletes are living full and productive lives.

In addition, Turnstone will purchase four Strike Force power soccer wheelchairs. Over the years, Turnstone’s current power soccer chairs have undergone considerable wear and tear. These chairs are used aggressively and have a limited lifetime. Maintaining the chairs in safe condition is the only way practice and play can occur. We will also purchase 36, 8-foot court barriers to increase practice and play time as well as provide safety to our spectators and guests.

3) Turnstone will provide year round ongoing adaptive sport and recreational programming for four additional people (47 total) with spinal cord injuries. Programs will provide skill development and competition opportunities locally, regionally and nationally.
100% will report satisfied or very satisfied with the overall program
90% will report increased confidence and self-esteem as reported on the consumer survey
90% will report an increase in physical fitness and activity (CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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    1106 Human Movement and Sports Science

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC


  • Health Research Areas