The Adapted Sports Program promotes participation in adapted recreational and competitive sports for individuals with physical disabilities in order to maximize independence, self-confidence, health and overall well-being. Participants improve physical strength, range of motion, flexibility and endurance; as well as emotional well-being and overall quality of life.
Just ask 28 year-old Randy Johnson. In 2013, Randy suffered a traumatic spine injury in a horrific automobile accident. He spent more than a month in therapy at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute. A seasoned athlete of many sports, all Randy could think about was never competing again; or doing anything else for that matter. After a visit from Recreation Therapist, Mike Henley, himself a trauma survivor and inspiration for many other survivors, Randy began to embrace his new reality.
After leaving UM Rehab, Randy spent the next two years in a variety of settings having to rely on others for his daily care. He lived with several family members, and ended up living in a nursing home for an entire year. In September 2014, Randy attended the annual Adapted Sports Festival at UM Rehab where he was introduced to Wheelchair (Quad) Rugby, and the Maryland Mayhem Quad Rugby team (the home team of UM Rehab). He had discovered his new sport.
Randy began working out in his chair and managed to find rides to Rugby practice whenever he could. Through hard work and perseverance, he eventually earned a starting position on the Maryland Mayhem team.
Wheelchair Rugby has given Randy an incredible new life. Through the Adapted Sports Program at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute and his unending desire to compete, Randy has achieved implausible strength and independence. In fact, he recently moved into his own apartment where his Mayhem teammates surprised him with a house-warming party. Now Randy is living independently and making the most of every day; his next goal is to make the USA Quad Rugby team.