Annual Adaptive Sports Expo


There are no limits to the availability of sports and recreational activities available for all interests and abilities. For individuals with a disability, finding the right one to keep them interested, motivated and active can be a challenge. That’s where the Memorial Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program, which is part of the Memorial Rehabilitation Institute at Memorial Regional Hospital South in Hollywood, comes in.

The program encourages former patients from the Rehabilitation program and members of the community with physical disabilities to participate in a wide variety of adaptive sports. Some of the participants have achieved athletic success. There are two adult wheelchair basketball teams, a newly organized children’s pediatric wheelchair basketball team. One even earned second place at a national tournament.

On Saturday, March 31st, the 4th Annual Adaptive Sports and Recreation Expo will give participants of all abilities with disabilities a way to explore a variety of sports and recreational activities beneficial to the physical and mental health of those who have suffered strokes, lost the use of limbs or are coping with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. The event will take place at Markham Park, 16001 W. State Rd. 84, Sunrise, FL 33326 Sunrise, FL, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Those attending will have a chance to try and watch wheelchair basketball, adaptive soccer, hand cycling, disk golf, fishing, adaptive sailing, adaptive scuba diving, and adaptive water skiing, remote control airplanes and much more. While all events are free and open to all ages, advanced registration is required for adaptive scuba diving, water skiing and remote control airplanes. Register online at For more information call Ray Shipman at 954-518-5573.

“Our past three expos have had more than 400 participants,” said Ray Shipman, manager of the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program which is offered through Memorial Rehabilitation Institute at Memorial Regional Hospital South in Hollywood. “Our goal is to make sports and recreational activities available to all because there are no limitations to what our physically challenged community can accomplish.”

The program connects physically disabled individuals with a wide range of adaptive sports and adaptive recreational activities, which have been modified or redesigned to fit patients’ unique needs and requirements.

“Adaptive sports provide numerous long-term therapeutic benefits in addition to enhancing quality of life and improving over health,” added Shipman. “These activities are not just fun but very important for people with disabilities to know that they can do anything they put their mind to.”

For Sunny Isles Beach resident Kat Magnoli, who suffers from spina bifida, the event is not just a day at the park, but a day of discovery in a great social setting. “I am very excited about this year's expo because every year it is a chance for me to see old friends and make new one's while enjoying and learning about all the different activities and new adaptive sports offered.

“We have participants in our Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputation, strokes, or anything that affects their mobility who participate,” said Ray Shipman, Manager of the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program at Memorial Regional Hospital South. “We have a division one and division two basketball team. They practice three times a week.

In addition to enhancing quality of life and improving overall health, adaptive sports programs can help disabled participants become more independent, foster new skills, foster new friendships and enhance social, promote fewer secondary medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

The sports program can be very competitive or it can be completely non-competitive.

“This is about encouraging people with disabilities to stay fit and stay active with people. Sometimes people with disabilities will go into their room and become depressed and feel hopeless. We want to prevent that,” said Shipman. He is an experienced athlete who played football at the University of Central Florida and in the National Football League.

WHAT:    4th Annual Adaptive Sports and Recreation Expo hosted by Memorial Rehabilitation Institute and Memorial Regional Hospital South
WHEN:    Saturday, March 31, 2018; 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WHERE:    Event Location: Markham Park, 16001 W. State Road 84, Sunrise, FL
Events:     Free adaptive activities include: adaptive soccer, wheelchair basketball, hand cycling, disc golf, adaptive water skiing, sailing, remote control planes, adaptive scuba diving and more.

Advanced registration required for free adaptive scuba diving, adaptive water skiing, and remote control airplanes.

Register online at

For more information, contact Ray Shipman at 954-518-5573 or