The Westchester Independent Living Center (WILC) has been awarded a Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation 2013 Quality of Life grant in the amount of $6,000 in the Adaptive Sports category to support the New York Rollin’ KNICKS Basketball Team.
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grants program was conceived by the late Dana Reeve to address the myriad needs of children and adults with paralysis and other mobility impairments and their families. Grants support critical life-enhancing and life-changing initiatives that improve physical and emotional health and increase independence. Funded projects offer a diversity of services and approaches: improving access; providing education and job training; sponsoring organized sporting activities; and much more. Quality of Life grants are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“In the pursuit to achieve greater independence for individuals living with paralysis, the Reeve Foundation is honored to provide Quality of Life grants to organizations that support the paralysis community nationwide,” said Niketa Sheth, Senior Vice President of Quality of Life, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “Each organization selected for a grant provides stellar curriculum or service that empowers, educates and reinvigorates people living with paralysis. We are proud to raise awareness and fund these pioneering programs that aim to improve the freedom and well-being of our community.”
WILC will utilize the grant to purchase 2 sport wheelchairs for new members of the New York Rollin’ KNICKS basketball team. The Rollin’ KNICKS is a wheelchair basketball team co-sponsored by the New York KNICKS/Madison Square Garden and the Westchester Independent Living Center (WILC). The Rollin’ KNICKS are members of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA). The NWBA, founded in 1948, is comprised of over 200 basketball teams across 22 conferences and 7 divisions. The Rollin’ KNICKS are in the NWBA Championship Division. They play in tournaments throughout the United States.
Basketball wheelchairs are not for everyday use. They are specifically designed for athletes who want durability and quick, easy adjustments. They allow players to move down court quickly, turn rapidly, and they absorb some of the rough contact inherent in the sport.
The Rollin’ KNICKS team is comprised of individuals who range in age from 15 – 59. Years of experience playing wheelchair basketball range from 1 year for the newest members to 40 years. Established members of the team become mentors to the juniors (as the new players are called) helping them to develop their skills and athleticism. Participating in competitive wheelchair basketball exposes the juniors to men and women who are wheelchair users, who are working, have families and are part of the community. It helps them develop teamwork and cooperation, skills which can be transferred to other areas of life including employment, independent living and self-sufficiency.
For more information regarding wheelchair basketball, check out the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.
For more information regarding the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, click here.
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