Wheelchair Sports Federation | Adaptive Sports Organization
David Harrison - Adaptive Athlete & Mentor 1952 - 2018 Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   


At the young age of sixteen David Harrison learned that in adversity lies opportunity. He suffered a spinal-cord injury while sledding on a toboggan in a Quincy golf course. He never let the limitation or confinement to his wheelchair define him. In fact . . . he excelled and seized every activity and opportunity available.

David died at home on Friday, January 12, 2018. after an illness. He was 65.

Born on September 30, 1952 in Arlington he was a son of the late Donald M. and Mary (Silva) Harrison. A lifelong Cambridge resident he graduated from Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton. With a firsthand knowledge he worked as a certified orthotist and prosthetist for the Department of Veterans Affairs spinal cord center in West Roxbury. He would fabricate and fit patients with orthotics that eventually made artificial limbs. Dave enjoyed retirement after 36 years in 2011. He married Gloria Cartagena at the Paine Estate in Waltham on October 16, 1982.

Dave was active in sports all his life. Prior to his accident he played baseball in the Babe Ruth league in East Cambridge, ran cross country, track and played JV basketball at Latin. He was involved in the New England Paralyzed Veterans Association's Blazer and was selected as guard for the USA Paralympics basketball team in 1976 in Toronto in which they won the gold medal and was inducted to the New England Conference Hall of Fame. When receiving this award, Armand 'Tip' Thiboutot said 'he is as close to what I would describe as a mistake-free player as anyone I ever coached…a fine defensive player with excellent speed and quickness in relation to other players.'

He represented and participated in the 32nd National Wheelchair Championship's rower in the amateur division in a single-pontoon rigged racing shell. He played tennis for over 25 years, both here in Massachusetts and at their home in Citrus Springs, Florida. He looked forward to the annual pilgrimage to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York for the Jana Hunsaker Memorial. He rode in countless 5 and 10k road races and Boston's half-marathon

Throughout his life he remained positive despite his injuries and remained mindful of the many blessings he had throughout his life.

In addition to his parents he is predeceased by his brother Donald M. Harrison Jr. and sister, Joyce Sanchez.

In addition to his wife of 35 years, Gloria Cartagena Harrison, he leaves his brothers, Michael Harrison and his wife, Jerry of Topsfield and Douglas Harrison and his wife, Sheila of Tewksbury; his father-in-law, Camilo Cartagena of Citrus Springs, Florida; his sisters-in-law, Carmelin Gosselin and her husband, Steve of Citrus Springs, Florida and Linda Harrison of Ocala, Florida; also survived by many nieces & nephews.

Family and friends will honor and remember David's life by gathering for a calling hour on Saturday, January 20th from 12 – 1 pm in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham. His Celebration of Life will follow at 1 p.m. in the funeral home. Burial is private.

In lieu of flowers memorials in his name may be made to Don Harrison Foundation, 2300 SE 17th Street, Suite 200, Ocala, Florida 34471 (www.donharrisonfoundation.org)or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168 (www.dana-farber.org).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 January 2018 01:59
Written by John Hamre   
Friends of Adaptive Sports,

We are excited to enter our 10th Year and couldn't have reached this milestone without you.

As we continue to grow, we still need your help to promote Adaptive Sports in the United States and around the world.

Here's how you can help:

LIKE our NEW Facebook Page HERE

FOLLOW us on Twitter HERE

LIKE us on Instagram HERE

When you post on any of the above please make sure to use #PushHard and #WheelchairSportsFederation and when you mention us on Twitter, please tag us with @WSFederation.

We need your help to continue to highlight the incredible work you do in the Adaptive Sports Community.

Push Hard,

John Hamre
Wheelchair Sports Federation

P.S. - To honor our 10th Year please consider making a gift by clicking HERE.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 January 2018 04:00
University of Alabama Adapted Athletics Opens Stran-Hardin Arena Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   


The University of Alabama celebrated the completion of Stran-Hardin Arena, a multi-use facility for UA’s Adapted Athletics program. Pictured, from left: Maude Jacques, women’s wheelchair tennis player; Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh, dean, UA College of Education; C. Ray Hayes, chancellor, UA System; Dr. Margaret Stran, associate director, UA Adapted Athletics; Dr. Brent Hardin, director, UA Adapted Athletics; Stuart R. Bell, UA president; Mike and Kathy Mouron, UA alumni and donors; Jasper Cornett, vice president, KPS Group; Tim Harrison, Harrison Construction; and James Cook, men’s wheelchair basketball player.


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama’s vanguard for adapted sport was unveiled Wednesday, Jan. 10.

UA Adapted Athletics players and coaches, university administrators and supporters of the program celebrated the completion of Stran-Hardin Arena, a $10 million multi-purpose facility for UA’s Adapted Athletics program.

The two-story facility, named for Drs. Brent Hardin and Margaret Stran, founders of the program, includes a NCAA regulation game venue for wheelchair basketball, locker rooms, athletic training room, strength and conditioning room, team meeting rooms and study halls. Stran-Hardin Arena is along the south façade of the UA Rec Center, east of the main entrance.

Stran-Hardin Arena will open to the public during a wheelchair basketball alumni tournament Saturday, Jan. 20.

“The facility is a testament to the many people who have a commitment to students with disabilities,” said Hardin, director of UA Adapted Athletics. “It’s also a reflection of all our students who’ve been pioneers and have paved the way for other students with disabilities.

“Stran-Hardin Arena will give University of Alabama supporters a great place to watch us compete, but it also changes expectations of who we are and what we can do, and pushes us further in that direction.”

UA Adapted Athletics began in 2003 with women’s wheelchair basketball. The program has since grown to include 30 student-athletes in women’s basketball, men’s basketball, wheelchair tennis, para-rowing and adapted golf. UA is home to six national championships in men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017). Wheelchair tennis has won three national championships (2013, 2015 and 2017).

Additionally, more than 100 students participate in the program’s noncompetitive sports options.

Caitlin McDermott, a UA alumna who won a national championship with UA’s women’s wheelchair basketball team in 2015, said Stran-Hardin Arena addresses all of the needs of UA’ adapted athletes.

“We now have our own space, where we can be comfortable and focus on our training,” McDermott said. “The biggest addition is the weight room and having our own adapted equipment so we don’t have to worry about figuring out what machines we can and can’t use and trying to adapt equipment geared toward able bodied athletes.”

In September, Mike and Kathy Mouron, UA alumni and Mountain Brook residents, launched the project’s fundraising campaign with two gifts totaling $4 million. The Mourons announced the arena would be named for Hardin and Stran, who’ve led the program since its inception and have coached multiple national championship teams at UA.

Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh, dean of the UA College of Education, said Stran-Hardin Arena is both a commitment to the education and livelihood of UA’s adapted athletes.

“The arena, which has no peer in the nation, also speaks to the good efforts of the alumni and friends of the University, who saw this as a critical achievement for the University and who put disability concerns at the forefront of their support,” Hlebowitsh said. “It is an achievement born of a dream that two professors in the College of Education dared to pursue with unrelenting energy. The University community will find itself enriched for many years by the many good things that will be supported inside the Stan-Hardin Arena.”


10th Annual Wheelchair Football Championship Print E-mail
Written by John Hamre   


At the 10th Annual Wheelchair Football Game between the NY Jets and NY Giants at Victory Field in Middle Village NY, the NY Giants were victorious by a score of 18 to 6 on Saturday October 21, 2017.  Thanks to all our sponsors and volunteers including the Wheelchair Sports Federation, New York Giants, New York Jets, All American Deli and the NYC Parks Department for making this event possible.



Last Updated on Thursday, 22 November 2018 17:25
23rd Annual Al Youakim Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Print E-mail
Written by John Hamre   


The 23rd Annual Al Youakim Wheelchair Basketball Tournament had 6 teams participating on Saturday October 28, 2017 and Sunday October 29, 2017 at the Hackensack (NJ) Middle School. They placed: 

1st Place - Nassau Kings

2nd Place - Bulova Nets

3rd Place – Brooklyn Nets

4th Place – New England Blazers

5th Place - Jr Nets

6th Place - Lady Liberty



Individual Awards went to the following:

Guard Division 2 Al Youakim All-Star –Emily Seelenfreund – Bulova Nets

Foward Division 2 Al Youakim All-Star – Bobby Kranz – Nassau Kings

Power Forward Division 2 Al Youakim All-Star – William Borrero – Brockton Celtics

Guard Division 3 Al Youakim All-Star – Carlos Ruiz – Brooklyn Nets

Forward Division 3 Al Youakim All-Star - Dan Keohane - New England Blazers

Power Forward Division 3 Al Youakim All-Star – Felix Castillo – Brooklyn Nets

Mike Lione MVP Award - Christopher St. Remy - Nassau Kings

Freddy Jones Sportsmanship Award – Caitlin Chasar – Lady Liberty

Al Youakim Spirit Award – Chris Youakim

 Denton Johnson Trailblazer Award - John Pugioti


Congratulations on another great Tournament and the Wheelchair Sports Federation would like to thank our wonderful volunteers, Bill Youakim and Chris Youakim.  We'll see you next November 2018 for the 24th Annual.

Last Updated on Sunday, 03 December 2017 04:22
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