On October 7, 2023, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (Rancho Los Amigos) welcomed back its highly anticipated Annual Spinal Injury Games after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Spinal Cord Injury service interdisciplinary staff successfully organized and hosted the event that is designed for beginner and wheelchair sports enthusiasts and their families to participate in a day of wheelchair sports and learn about community resources. With over 275 participants, supportive family members and friends; 300 volunteers; and 35 sponsors, vendors, community groups, and nonprofit organizations, the excitement was felt by all who attended!
The Annual Spinal Injury Games commenced with an inspiring welcome speech by Dr. Michael Scott, Associate Chief Medical Officer and Department Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Julia Mockeridge, Health Deputy for Supervisor Janice Hanh.
The event provided an excellent opportunity for participants to experience a wide variety of wheelchair sports. Just to name a few: quad rugby, wheelchair hockey, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair football, and wheelchair obstacle course.
More importantly, the event resulted in a feeling of triumph, accomplishment, and independence amongst the many motivated participants. The competitive yet supportive environment allowed participants to gain confidence and experience sportsmanship. In addition to adaptive sports, participants experienced climbing on an adaptive rock-climbing wall and engaged in creative marble painting by Kenny Younger. They were entertained by the talented Rancho Performing Arts group and a drum circle run by Wahlbangers Drum Circle Organization. The day was full of exciting opportunities for participants, family members, community members, volunteers, and Rancho Los Amigos staff members. Everyone was excited that the Rancho Los Amigos special events are BACK!!