Sports Programs we Offer

Programs for children and young adults ages 5-18 are offered by the Bennett Institute Physically Challenged Sports Program and the Bennett Blazers.

For detailed information about individual activities, please click on the links below:

Ambulatory Sports

This program is designed for athletes who are physically challenged and can ambulate with or without assistive devices. Soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, junior baseball, tennis, golf, and boccia/polypat/table tennis are offered, depending on the season of the year. All levels of play and ability are accommodated.

Participant Age: 5–18 years

Season: September through June

Contact Information Phone: (443) 923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Boccia

Athletes have the opportunity to learn to play boccia, a precision ball sport featured in the Paralympics. Participants learn basic rules and important strategies of the game. Boccia is offered to individuals from beginner to advanced levels. Ramp players are welcome. The program organizes individual and team matches.

Participant Age: 9–8 years

Season: September through November

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Handcycling

Handcycling is a form of cycling that enables athletes of all abilities to ride an adaptive bike, operated exclusively by the upper body. Governed by U.S. Handcycling (USHF), handcycling is one of the newest competitions at the Paralympic Games, and is ideal for people who have limited or no use of their legs. 

There are two levels: junior and adult.

  • The junior team is open to individuals ages 6-18 and offers both recreational and competitive opportunities. 
  • The adult program is open to those 14 years and older who wish to participate in the Baltimore Running Festival and other marathons. Participants must be able to complete a marathon in three hours. Equipment is available through an application process.

Participant Age: See above

Season: TBD

Photo Gallery: Baltimore Running Festival

Contact Information

Junior Recreational:

Phone: (443) 923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850
hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Adult:

Email: adaptivesports@kennedykrieger.org
Phone: (443) 923-7844

I-Skate: Dorothy Hamill’s Adaptive Ice Skating Program

I-Skate was established in November 2009 to allow children with physical disabilities the unique opportunity to learn how to ice skate, not only improving their health and independence, but also providing important social interaction with their peers. Skaters use specially designed adaptive ice skates, walkers, ice sleds, and helmets. Individuals with a wide range of disabilities are eligible, including those with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, limb differences, and paralysis.

Participant Age: 5–18 years

Season: December through March

Contact Information<

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Junior Baseball

Junior baseball players receive basic instruction in throwing, catching, and hitting off a tee. A safe tee ball is used for all activities. Games are focused on fun and participation, reinforcing the skills learned in practice.

Participant Age: 9 years and younger

Season: March through June

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Motor Development

 

Motor Development Program

Designed for younger children with physical challenges, activities are selected to improve children's fine and gross motor coordination. Children improve basic catching, throwing, striking, and movement patterns as they manipulate themselves through a variety of climbing apparatuses, and experiment with different athletic equipment. Following 45 minutes in the gymnasium, the children go to the pool for basic swimming orientation and instruction.

Participant Age: 2–7 years

Season: Year round

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Power Soccer

Power soccer programs offer the speed and agility of the game through the use of adapted guards attached to the power chairs to assist the participants in playing. The program offers two levels of play: Division I for older, more experienced players and Division II for developing players. Both programs are registered with the United States Power Soccer Association.

Participant Age: 5 years and older

Season: September through June

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Running (for Baltimore Running Festival Participants)

Participants in this program train to run in the Baltimore Running Festival held each year in October. The funds raised by Team Kennedy Krieger will support our International Center for Spinal Cord Injury and the training needs of patients with disabilities who participate in the event, through the purchase of adapted racing, training, and therapy equipment.

Participant Age:

5K– No age restrictions
Relay– 14 and older
Half Marathon– 14 and older
Full Marathon– 16 and older

Season: July through October

Contact Information

Email: adaptivesports@kennedykrieger.org

Sailing

In this program, individuals sail freely and independently using specially adapted boats. The program is run in partnership with Baltimore’s Downtown Sailing Center (DSC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving all people the opportunity to learn to sail. Individuals start out on a virtual sailing simulator. This stationary, motorized sailboat cockpit uses software that enables patients to navigate the boat around a virtual course as they would an actual sailboat in the water. Once the participant is approved to go on the open water, they sail on one of the DSC’s handicap accessible sailboats, which are uniquely designed with a passenger seat that sits low in the water to prevent capsizing and a joystick for steering.

Participant Age: 18 years and older

Season: June through August

Contact Information

Email: adaptivesports@kennedykrieger.org

Sitting Volleyball

Using traditional volleyball rules, this program requires athletes to play from the floor using a lower than regulation net. This is a Paralympic sport open to any athlete who is physically challenged, yet able to maintain independent sitting balance on the floor. Athletes must also be able to move themselves with ease around the floor.

Participant Age: 5 years and older

Season: September through November

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Sled Hockey

The sled hockey program is designed for any athlete with a physical challenge. All levels of play and ability are available. Athletes wear full ice hockey equipment as required by USA Hockey. There are two levels: junior and adult.

Participant Age

Junior: 5-18 years

Adult: 18 years and older

Season: September through April

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Swimming

Participants interested in the swimming program have two options. The combined fitness and swimming option is designed to help improve athletes' overall fitness level. In this program, cardiovascular and strength training activities are addressed in the fitness center, followed by time in the pool for basic swimming orientation and instruction. For those who only want fitness training or swimming instruction, separate registration is available for either program.

Participant Age

Junior: 9–18 years

Adult: 18 years and older

Season: March through June

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Table Tennis/Polybat

This is an instructional program for beginners and advanced players. Basic table tennis techniques, such as forehand, backhand, and the serve, are demonstrated and practiced. Participants learn and use the rules of table tennis in practice matches and a singles tournament.

Participant Age: 5–18 years

Season: September through November

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Tennis

The tennis program is designed to provide basic to advanced instruction in stand-up and wheelchair tennis. The program covers the basic skills of forehand, backhand, and the serve, as well as basic strategy and match play. Team and individual events are conducted.

Participant Age: 5-18 years

Season: March through August

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Track and Field

The track and field program provides the opportunity to become familiar with both the basic and advanced techniques needed to participate in competitions. Participants practice running form and pushing form drills, as well as interval training on the wheelchair rollers or treadmill. Participants receive instruction and training in the shot put, discus, javelin, softball, and club throwing events as determined by age and classification. (All athletes are classified to determine appropriate event participation.) Athletes receive information and assistance regarding opportunities to participate in local, regional, and national competitions.

Participant Age

Junior: 5-18 years

Adult: 18 years and older

Season: March through June

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Wheelchair Basketball

Opportunities to participate, train, and compete in wheelchair basketball are provided for all athletes with a permanent lower limb disability. Participants can practice in three levels of play. Loaner basketball wheelchairs are available for those who don't have their own.

Participant Age

Ages 10 and under, 5' to 7' baskets

Ages 12 and under, 8' 6" baskets

Ages 18 and under, 10' baskets

Adult: 18 and older

Season: September through March

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Wheelchair Floor Hockey

This is an instructional hockey program that enables students to build skills in puck handling, passing, and shooting, as well as game skills and strategies. Athletes who use an electric or manual wheelchair are welcome to participate. Athletes who have ambulatory disabilities can use a manual wheelchair (available through the program).

Participant Age: 5-18 years

Season: December through March

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Wheelchair Football

The wheelchair football program is a recreational program designed to expose participants to the sport. Any participant with a physical challenge is eligible to play, but all athletes must use an electric or manual wheelchair. Wheelchairs are available from the program for those who don’t have their own.

Participant Age: 5-18 years

Season: September through November

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Wheelchair Lacrosse

Wheelchair lacrosse, which combines basketball, hockey, soccer, and football, is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. It is governed by Wheelchair Lacrosse USA, and is open to all levels of play and ability. The lacrosse program is designed for any athlete with a physical challenge. We offer clinics several times a year to teach the following:

  • Rules
  • Passing and catching
  • Clearing techniques
  • Riding techniques
  • Offense and defense
  • Equipment needs
  • Full speed scrimmages

Participant Age

Junior: 9–18 years

Adult: 18 years and older 

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Wheelchair Rugby

Wheelchair rugby is a mixed team sport for male and female athletes with quadriplegia. A unique sport created by athletes with disabilities, it combines elements of rugby, basketball, and handball. Players compete in teams of four to carry the ball across the opposing team's goal line. Contact between wheelchairs is permitted and is, in fact, an integral part of the sport, as players use their chairs to block and hold opponents.

Participant Age: 18 years and older

Season: Year round

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org

Wheelchair Softball

Wheelchair softball takes place in our gym or on our new outdoor field. A 14” DeBeers gymball softball is used, eliminating the need for gloves. Tournaments and clinics are conducted throughout the spring and summer. Sports wheelchairs are available for those who need them.

Participant Age: 5-18

Season: Spring/Summer

Contact Information

Phone: 443-923-7844
Fax: (443) 923-7850 
Email: hermang@kennedykrieger.org