People with disabilities can stay active and truly savor the great outdoors thanks to the Connecticut Adaptive Rowing Program, offered by Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital.
This first-of-its-kind program provides individuals with a physical disability or visual impairment the opportunity to participate in the sport of rowing on the Connecticut River, in one of the most scenic settings in New England.
The Connecticut Adaptive Rowing Program provides individuals with a physical disability or visual impairment the opportunity to engage in exercise that makes use of all available muscle groups.
The two-person shells used by the Connecticut Adaptive Rowing Program are outfitted with modified equipment to accommodate rowers with disabilities.
The Connecticut Adaptive Rowing Program allows individuals to leave their disabilities behind them when they are on the water.
The Connecticut Adaptive Rowing Program takes place on the Connecticut River, one of the most scenic settings in New England.
The program is based on the Connecticut River at the Greater Hartford Jaycees Community Boathouse in Hartford’s Riverside Park. It is led by therapeutic rehabilitation specialists and physical therapists from Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital. Safety is a priority. Participants receive comprehensive training before going out on the water with an experienced coach.
Each participant is accompanied in the two-person shell by an experienced rower who been specially trained in adaptive rowing by the staff of Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital.
In adaptive rowing, boats are outfitted with modified equipment to accommodate disabilities. The two-person shells can be outfitted with fixed seats to provide support and added security for individuals with limited or no use of their legs. Pontoons are utilized to increase stability.
Benefits of Rowing
Rowing is sport of mind and body. It requires as much concentration as it does physical motion. It is smooth, non-jarring exercise that makes use of all available muscle groups. It is also an excellent way to enhance well-being through an enjoyable leisure activity in a stunning outdoor setting.
Although not all program participants can master all of the skills of rowing with the same degree of ability and ease, all are able to progress steadily and enjoy the challenges and benefits of the activity. In this program, rowers learn the techniques of handling the shells at their own pace and gain confidence in their abilities.
The Connecticut Adaptive Rowing Program is operated by Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital in collaboration with these organizations:
- The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation – which provided an initial grant to purchase the rowing shells.
- Riverfront Recapture, Inc. – which provides storage space for the shells, coaching and safety supervision on the water.
- Connecticut Chapter, National Spinal Cord Injury Association – which promotes the program to its members, covers membership fees for qualified participants with spinal cord injuries and contributes to the purchase of adaptive equipment.
- Bret H. Chernik Amputee Foundation – which underwrites membership fees for qualified amputees and contributes to the purchase of equipment.
Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital is a 60-bed comprehensive facility dedicated to providing state-of-the-art acute rehabilitation with specialized programs in stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, neuromuscular disease, orthopedics and general rehabilitation.