Sporting choice

The Olympics has helped to inspire me to get back into sport, not to be a Paralympian in 2016, although why not, but to take up a sporting activity. Having said all that it had always been my intention take up a sport after recovering from the amputation. The sports I have done in the past like Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Hockey etc. are all out of the equation now. I wanted to take part in the Amputee Games earlier this year which is organised by LimbPower http://www.limbpower.com/and held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, home of the Paralympics. Unfortunately you had to have been an amputee for a year before you can take part so I am hoping to make next year’s event. You get to try out many of the Paralympic sports over the two days to see if there is something you are good at or would like to take up, brilliant idea. In the meantime I went to the Parasport website http://www.parasport.org.uk where they have a self-assessment wizard, you answer a few questions and it lists the sports you are able to do with your disability. Here is the list of sports it recommended for me, I’ve commented on what I think about each sport and the practicality of me participating in them.

Alpine Skiing – My knee has a replacement so I would have to ski sitting. The closes place for me to go is Milton Keynes which strikes this sport off my list.

Archery – Did it for a short time many years ago and can be done in a wheelchair or with prosthesis on. There are local clubs but it is not a very active sport, it’s still defiantly high on my list

Athletics – I used to like 800m and cross country at school but with a weak knee I am not keen on running now. Athletics has never really appealed to me but I will not dismiss it completely.

Cycling – I have seen a one arm, one leg amputee cycle but because of my knee I would only do this with my prosthesis on. It means that I may not always be able to do it unless I had a handcycle but it’s highly active and something I really enjoy so it’s on the possible list.

Fencing – Something I hadn’t thought of, lots of skill, technique and concentration required. Can be done in a wheelchair just not sure it’s for me and not, there is a club within reach so it may be something to investigate further.

Ice Sledge Hockey – Getting a bit older now so possibly a bit over active for me, I’ll leave it there.

Nordic Skiing – Too demanding and not accessible enough location wise for me, we’ll move on.

Para-Equestrian – I went riding for years when I was little but not sure it’s for me now. Could be done with or without a prosthesis I think and there is access locally to have a go if I wanted too, it will remain as an option for the time being.

Powerlifting – Erm, no.

Sailing – Accessible reasonably locally and can be done with or without the prosthesis. I think sailing is something that you either really want to do or not but again a possibility even if it’s just to give it a go.

Shooting – I’ve done target shooting about 18 years ago but as I’m in the Cadet Force the opportunity is there as is the coaching. There are a lot of local clubs but like the archery not that active, it’s still a strong possibility.

Swimming – I enjoy swimming but it’s not something I would want to take up as a dedicated sport. I will go swimming as and when I want too.

Sitting Volleyball – Looks fun, good team sport but the nearest place for me to go is London so that is well off the list, shame.

Table Tennis – Doesn’t light my fire in any way, shape or form.

Tennis – See Table Tennis!

Wheelchair Basketball – A bit too physical for me now but if I had been a lot younger it would be something I would have wanted to try.

Wheelchair Curling – Not something I had thought of but not something I really want to try either.

These are just the sports that are included in the Paralympics that an amputee can do, here are a couple more I have thought of.

Golf – Wouldn’t mind getting back into golf as I took it up casually about 2 years before my surgery but only played for a year. Would need my prosthesis for this so it’s not something I could do all the time.

Kayaking – Had a go once many years ago and is something I quite fancy. I am not sure if I can do it without a leg (because of balance) but I am hoping I can, I may need a wet leg (a prosthesis I can get wet) in the future. A guy at Cadets had said about us going paddling before my surgery and I am sure he would still be willing to take me out, he is fully qualified. There are also a few local clubs and it’s an active sport that’s doable for me. It’s quite high on my sporting list.

Rowing – Pretty much the same as the kayaking but doesn’t have quite the edge that the kayaking does. It’s certainly something I would consider.

At the moment medical and financial restrictions could be the major hold up with starting a sport. I can wait as my health and stump is the most important thing at this time. It would be good to hear other people’s ideas, suggestions and experiences so please feel free to comment here on the blog or on my Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Amputee/300078160015089

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