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October 26, 2009 ( El Cajon)--The annual wheelchair basketball game--where the sound of squeaking rubber isn’t from the soles of players’ shoes, but from custom-built chairs pivoting and spinning across the gym floor--is set for 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28 at the Cuyamaca College gym. The five-on-five games feature a mix of Cuyamaca’s basketball team playing alongside members of the San Diego Xpress, a National Wheelchair Basketball Association team formed in the mid-‘80s. Most of the wheelchair athletes have suffered spinal cord injuries, but that hasn’t stopped them from playing competitively.


Teams for Cuyamaca’s game are mixed with players from both sides, as well as anyone who wants to join in, so that the wheelchair league athletes don’t completely dominate the scoreboard, said Mary Asher-Fitzpatrick, a learning disabilities specialist in Cuyamaca College’s Disabled Students Programs and Services office.


This is the 12th year that DSP&S and Rob Wojkowski, the men’s basketball coach at Cuyamaca, have been coordinating the game. The game provides a new awareness to students and others of what wheelchair athletes can accomplish, and, more often than not, results in Cuyamaca athletes taking their share of spills from the low-to-the-ground chairs specially designed for speed and maneuverability.


The game is part of the college’s annual commemoration of National Disability Awareness Month. The event at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego is free and open to the public.


“Cuyamaca College has a long history of services to, and awareness of, disability needs and challenges,” said interim college president Ron Manzoni. “The college’s sponsorship of this event provides a terrific opportunity for our staff, students and the public to witness the skills of these athletes who spend a great deal of time and energy developing their skill on the basketball court. This event is another example of Cuyamaca’s outreach efforts to encourage all students and to provide a variety of learning opportunities.”


In keeping with the month’s theme, the Cuyamaca College library has a display focusing on the accomplishments and challenges facing the disabled. In addition to picking up some tidbits about famous people who are physically challenged, visitors can also learn how the college assists its own students with disabilities. On loan for the display are some of the assistive computer technology tools and alternate media used by DSP&S.


For campus and driving maps, visit www.cuyamaca.edu or call 619-660-4236

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The efficiency of a

The efficiency of a wheelchair can be measured easily in a non-scientific way. The user can simply see how far they move in a given wheelchair, on a given surface in just one push. Because of the number of joints, and weight of the steel of aluminium, a folding wheelchair loses a lot of energy, so a folding wheelchair won't move as far as a rigid wheelchair per push. A titanium sport wheelchair weighs roughly a third of the weight of a standard steel folding wheelchair, and so will move much further per push. This is an important consideration when choosing a wheelchair.

Wheelchair Ramps

Interesting points

I was reading up on wheelchair sports and never thought of the efficiency per push for a sport. I saw some good stuff at this Folding Wheelchair site too. Also do they have titanium folding wheelchairs for sports?

That's great information. I

That's great information. I didn't realize there was such a difference between titanium and steel wheelchairs. I know the difference in weight for power chairs and many people choose to use a vertical wheelchair lift to help get it in the car because it's just too much to lift.