Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Receives $50,000 Grant from The Hartford

A representative from The Hartford surprises a young wheelchair athlete with new sports equipment

The Hartford surprises Sam Wright, a 14-year-old athlete who participates on the Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers Wheelchair Basketball team, with a custom-fit sports wheelchair.

Company surprises local youth athlete with custom-fit sports equipment

With the generosity of Move United and The Hartford, our athletes now have access to equipment that gets them in the action and eliminates barriers to participation.”
— Maria Besta, Recreational Therapy at Mary Free Bed
GRAND RAPIDS, MI, USA, May 19, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports, a part of the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, a non-profit organization based in Grand Rapids, MI, was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from The Hartford for new adaptive sports equipment.

The grant enabled the Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports program, a member of the Move United member network, to purchase adaptive sports equipment, including seven handcycles and three sports wheelchairs for the inpatient Recreation Therapy department and the Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports program. The sports chairs will be used across every sport team program in addition to the yearly Jr. Wheelchair Sports Camp.

The Hartford also surprised Sam Wright, a 14-year-old athlete who participates on the Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers Wheelchair Basketball team, with a custom-fit, PER4MAX Thunder Sports Wheelchair. This elite performance sports wheelchair will help Wright play competitively in a sturdy, custom fit, tapered, lightweight sports chair. Wright has been participating in Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports since 2019. He has attended various sports clinics, classes, and annually participates in the Jr. Wheelchair Sports Camp. Wright lives in Kalamazoo, MI and travels to Grand Rapids one hour each way to attend practice weekly.

“With the generosity of Move United and The Hartford, our athletes now have access to equipment that gets them in the action and eliminates barriers to participation,” said Maria Besta, CTRS, Manager, Recreational Therapy, Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports at Mary Free Bed. “Adaptive equipment costs can seem overwhelming for individuals who use a wheelchair to play sports. With this funding, they’ve opened doors and improved access to wellness, socialization, and overall health.

Mary Free Bed is the only organization in West Michigan that offers such a wide range of inclusive wheelchair and adaptive sports opportunities to people with disabilities and/or limited mobility and is the largest program of its kind in the United States, reaching people throughout Michigan and beyond. The program includes more than 40 classes, clinics, special events, and teams. Each year, more than 1,800 people of all ages with a diverse range of abilities participate in their programming.

Shuan Butcher
Move United
+1 240-268-2180
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