Manuel Rodriguez has a passion for basketball. He loves a competitive game and the camaraderie of being on a team. He is a member of the wheelchair basketball team that is part of the Adaptive Sports and Recreation program offered by the Memorial Rehabilitation Institute.

“I look forward to the competition of wheelchair basketball,” said Rodriguez. “I am motivated to become more fit so I can play wheelchair basketball.”

Rodriguez is part of a wheelchair basketball team offered by the Adaptive Sports and Recreation program based at Memorial. The team has competed in national tournaments.

Sherrod Nelson is the coach of the wheelchair basketball team. He broke his back in a fall and could only participate in wheelchair basketball. “I love the competition of basketball. It helps build the moral of people who have been severely injured,” he said.

Members of the wheelchair basketball team were part of the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Expo at Markham Park.

The event allowed about 200 people with various disabilities the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of sports including basketball, water skiing, sailing, fishing, cycling, scuba diving and other sports. The theme of the event was Go Beyond. The idea is to encourage people to pursue their athletic and fitness goals as far as possible.

Kristen Hoss, executive director of the Youth Environmental Alliance was teaching disabled people how to sail. “I encourage people with disabilities to sail and to fish,” she said.

Bariyah Gilmer enjoyed the opportunity to go fishing. She also went scuba diving.

Jason Brown spent part of the day learning to scuba dive. He suffered a stroke and is working on rehabilitation. Now he does volunteer work at the hospital and helps move patients. “I love scuba diving,” he said. He also enjoyed sailing and water skiing.