Adaptive Athletics

Welcome to the official homepage of Adaptive Athletics at the University of Arizona!!! Here at the U of A disabled athletes have the opportunity to compete in a variety of sports, including Wheelchair Track, Rugby, Tennis, Basketball, and a sport for the blind called Goalball.

Each athlete in our Adaptive Athletics Program is expected to meet high acedemic standards and represent his/her school and community with pride and professionalism. In return, they are able to compete nationwide and internationally in their respective sports against world-class athletes, and have access to training, practice facilities, and staff here at the University of Arizona campus.

As a Division I school of the NCAA, the University of Arizona offers athletic opportunities to all of it's students. CeDRR provides acomprehensive program of competitive athletics and recreational activities to ensure equal access for students with disabilities. A variety of sport chairs are available for individuals to use, including some of the most current models from top manufacturers. Promotional and awareness activities place student athletes with disabilities throughout the community providing the opportunity for public speaking and personal growth. Our sport teams and events integrate both students and community members alike in some of the finest athletic and recreational facilities on any college campus today.

Wheelchair Track and Road Racing

Wheelchair Rugby

Wheelchair Tennis

Wheelchair Basketball



Weight Training and Conditioning

The adaptive athletic program has a variety of weight training facilities available for students. These include a number of different facilities; theemo Campus Recreation Center, the varsity weight facilities at Mckale Mrial Center, and the adaptive gym at CeDRR. The McKale program offers training opportunities that make the University of Arizona unique among Division Ischools. The varsity weight room and Strength Staff are available to student athletes with disabilities. The Adaptive Gym has a variety of equipment designed specifically for easy access and the ability to exercise without transferring from the wheelchair. The CeDRR strength Coach and Physical Therapist determine which facility or combination of facilities is most appropriate for each adaptive fitness participant.


Juniors Active in Wheelchair Sports provides unique opportunities for children with disabilities to gather on campus with a group of their peers. The program is designed to introduce the competitive adaptive sports and eventually lead to competition in junior divisions of national organizations. Their interaction with a Wildchair athlete provides a very special big brother/big sister relationship with long lasting implications.


In 1995 the University hosted the first annual DICK TOMEY PONY EXPRESS. This running event is highlighted by an Elite 10 K wheelchair division that has included the best racers from across the United States. As a result of the momentum and interest generated by these talented athletes the University of Arizona's Track/Roadracing program began in the fall of 1997. This event takes place in the festive atmosphere of a College campus on a football Saturday. Head Coach Dick Tomey and the top wheelchair racers from across the United States highlight this annual event. The races include a fun run, open 5k, and an elite wheelchair 10k which are held on the Center Mall of the University of Arizona. Competition and cooperation by the participants and community successfully provide needed funds for CeDRR. The Dick Tomey Pony Express includes something for everyone with good food, fabulous prizes and plenty of entertainment for all.


In this annual globetrotter-style basketball exhibition both the men and women's Varsity basketball teams compete in sport wheelchairs with the University of Arizona Wildchairs. The event raises funds for CeDRR as well as awareness of athletics and disabilities for everyone in attendance. The historical highlight of this event was playing the 1997 NCAA National Basketball Champions in the 14th annual Lame for a Game before a sellout crowd of 14,000 fans at McKale Memorial Center. Lame for a Game is the best-attended wheelchair basketball game in existence.


All of the University of Arizona's adaptive athletic programs are open to both students and community members. Students are automatically eligible based on skill qualification for each sport. Community members are eligible through the Adaptive Fitness Program. The program allows participation in all sports and fitness activities with payment of an annual fee.


Athletic Scholarship Awards (ASA) are limited at this stage of the program's development. Current maximum awards are $2,000 to cover the cost of in-state tuition. Individuals interested in applying for an ASA must make arrangements to visit the campus, provide an athletic resume and a list of references. If residency is established, the scholarship award would cover the full cost of tuition. Athletic Performance Awards (APA) are available on an annual basis. These awards are based on a players overall contribution to their specific team and the athletic program. The award is then applied to the following fall semester. The APA dollar amounts range from $200-$1,000.

Still Need More Info? Contact Derek Brown about the University of Arizona Adaptive Athletic Program: