Therapeutic Recreation Resources Connect and Network with fellow recreation therapists and activity directors Therapeutic recreation and activity directory jobs Therapeutic Recreation Directory Search the Therapeutic Recreation Directory Frequently asked questions at Therapeutic Recreation Directory Photo Credits for photos posted at the Therapeutic Recreation Directory Therapeutic Recreation Directory

Study Guide for NCTRC exam!
Pass the NCTRC Certification Exam, using our NCTRC test study guide!

National Recreation Association magazine "Recreation"

Hospital Capsules by Beatrice Hill

1955 Volume 48, Page 438

Goldwater’s Wheel Chair Olympics
Written by James Ryan, patient at Goldwater Memorial Hospital, Welfare Island, New York.

Goldwater Memorial Hospital is the first hospital built from public funds for the treatment of those suffering from disorders of a chronic nature. All but a few of its patients spend their days in Wheelchairs. The recreation program for this “Community on Wheels” was founded by Beatrice Hill less than a decade ago, and is now under the leadership of John J. Gehan.

Our recent carnival set a “high water mark” for special events. Participants as well as spectators spent a colorful and happy day under the sunny September skies. In keeping with the trend toward that which is timely, the festival bore the name “Wheelchair Olympics.” Each of the four buildings of the hospital was represented by a team. Under a canopy of flags from all nations, the various events were held on the driveway which is part of the terrace. Enthusiastic onlookers from the many porches cheered their favorites as the events were run off.

All entrants participated in their wheelchairs. There were wheelchair sprints, obstacle races, and a novelty event in which two wheelchairs were joined together. For the less hearty participants, there was a watermelon and pie-eating contest, and word-games for those whose physical capacities are limited. A wheelchair game resembling the old-time party favorite, “Going to Jerusalem,” enabled everybody -- regardless of their disabilities -- to participate. Volunteers acting as wheelchair chauffeurs, provided ready and willing hands where need of help was indicated. In keeping with the carnival theme, a supply depot of hot-dogs, punch, and ice cream was handily adjacent. While wheelchair athletes took time out between events, the New York City Fire Department Band added to the festive air.

Recreation under the Goldwater plan is so designed as to allow the patients themselves the maximum amount of self-help. Each of the four teams represented had a captain, who assumed the responsibility of having his teammates available when needed. James Seaborn, a rheumatoid arthritic, handled the public-address system, acting as announcer, starter, and scorekeeper.

An affair of this nature is not an attempt at a substitute for reality, but finds its purpose in bringing about a happier and more complete community. Woven throughout the day’s program was the golden thread of therapy that improves morale and stimulates imagination. The creation of an even greater bond between the volunteers and the patients cemented that relationship with memories that are mutually pleasant. Here was an event where everyone played a art and each could say the job was well done.

[The group of patient representatives of the recreation program at Goldwater will long be remembered by delegates to the 35th National Recreation Congress in Philadelphia, 1953, where this group appeared and described their program. See Recreation, December, 1953.--Ed.]

c: NRPA all rights reserved



Ads - NCTRC CTRS Exam Secrets - Recreation Therapy Store - Study For Tests - Cram for Tests - Therapy & Rehabilitation Crafts and Products - Beads from S&S Crafts - Activity Stuff Store - NRPA Study Guide - Danny Pettry CEU Program - NCTRC Study Guide

Sing Along With John DVDs: Need an update to your facility's DVD library?
These DVDs provide a breath of musical fresh air for your residents.
A wide variety of music! Go to

home page | about | resources | shop | connect | contact | advertise |jobs | join mail list | new | privacy | search 

Copyright (c) Computer Internet Services, Inc. Charles C. Dixon, MS, CTRS. All rights reserved. | Design by