wheelchair camp

Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp helps teach children, youth and young adults how to stay healthy and active while living with a disability. (Cottage Health photo)

The 2015 Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp welcomed an enthusiastic group of campers this week at the UCSB Recreation Center.

Funding from the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation allows all campers to attend the week for free.

The annual camp provides sport and recreation skill development for children, youth and young adults ages 6 to 19 who can use a wheelchair to participate in sports.

Activities at the camp range from beginner to advanced wheelchair sports, including rugby, basketball, tennis, hand cycling, volleyball, swimming, kayaking, SCUBA diving, tennis, climbing wall, roller sled hockey, ropes course, decathlon, lacrosse and more.

Counselors and instructors are wheelchair users themselves, so they become natural mentors to the campers on how to stay healthy and active while living with a disability.

Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp began in 1985 and is the only camp of its kind on the Central Coast. It attracts campers from the tri-counties and beyond to Los Angeles and Bakersfield.

Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital and the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation sponsor the camp with support from individuals, organizations and businesses in the community.

The camp is led by director Rene Van Hoorn, a recreation therapist at Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital.

— Maria Zate is a spokeswoman for Cottage Health.