NYRR Youth Wheelchair Training Program

Do you know a young person with a physical disability who wants to learn to use a racing wheelchair? New York Road Runners invites youth ages 7-21 to our first-ever NYRR Youth Wheelchair Training Program. We’ll introduce parents and youth to the sport of wheelchair racing, teach them the fundamentals, and then give them an opportunity to try it out.

We welcome youth who have physical disabilities and those who have the ability to push an everyday chair. Candidates include those who need to use manual wheelchairs full-time and those who may use a walker or crutches for short distances but a wheelchair for longer distances. This includes young people with hypertonia, ataxia and/or athetosis, impaired muscle power, impaired passive muscle range of motion, and/or limb deficiency and those who do not wish to run with prosthetics.

The program will cover:

  • Measuring your child for a racing chair. We will take a number of body measurements and discuss your child's disability to determine the chair and seating position that will best fit him or her.
  • Learning the components of the racing chair. Your child will work with coaches for proper seating and learn to get the most from their push. This will include maintenance needed for the chair like regularly checking tire pressure.
  • Ensuring the best way for your child to push his or her chair. We will look at your child's body mechanics and evaluate the best type of gloves for their training. During this phase we will put your child's chair on a set of rollers to help perfect pushing.
  • Pushing on the track. Before moving on the track, your child will learn the "rules of the track" which are intended to keep them and other racers safe. This includes wearing a bike helmet, learning when they need to stay in lanes, understanding how to pass other wheelchair racers, and knowing what to do and not do when they are being passed by someone else. We will also talk about rules when there are able bodied athletes running on the track.

If you know a child who may be interested in joining this new free program, or if you would like information on bringing a wheelchair racing clinic to your school, facility, or organization, please contact Dorian Kail via email or phone: 212-423-2247.

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