Tyler: Event seeks competitors for wheelchair games

Published on Thursday, 1 May 2014 23:35 - Written by Kenneth Dean kdean@tylerpaper.com

Wheelchair bound individuals are invited to engage in some friendly track and field competition later this month during the 16th Annual Wheelchair Games.

The event is scheduled for May 17 at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m., and games are expected to begin about 1 p.m.

Jon Mitchell, president of East Texas Wheelers and Walkers, said participants are mostly those with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis or some sort of injury that leaves them in a wheelchair. He said 25 to 50 people — both locals and out-of-towners – typically compete.

They compete in various track and field events.

Events for participants in manual wheelchairs are the 50-meter, 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter dashes, shot put, discus and team 200-meter (4 x 50) relay, and events for participants in electric wheelchairs are the 50-meter and 200-meter dashes, wheelchair rally, the club throw and archery, according to a news release. 

“They’re out there to compete to win,” Mitchell said. “It’s competitive, but it’s a friendly competition.”

Mitchell said the primary purpose of the games is “to promote an opportunity for wheelchair bound folks to compete.”

He said participants compete against people with a similar disability level, and there is a men’s division, as well as a women’s division.

An awards presentation takes place at the end of the games, which is usually around 3:30 or 4 p.m., Mitchell said.

There is no entry fee for participants. The Wheelchair Games are open to middle school students through adults.

More information is available by calling Mitchell at 903-566-0937 or the Glass Recreation Center at 903-595-7271.