Wheelchair Sports lauded by State Fitness Council

MFB Wheelchair Sports StaffGrand Rapids, Mich. – The Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Program (WAS) has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 Governor’s Fitness Award in the category of Extraordinary Event/Organization.

Finalists will be recognized during a legislative reception at the State Capitol on April 24, followed by an awards ceremony that evening at Ford Field in Detroit. In advance of the event, hosted by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, a film crew will visit Mary Free Bed in mid-March to create a video about the program.

From wheelchair basketball, tennis and softball to sled hockey, goal ball and martial arts training, WAS coordinates and provides coaches or instructors for 13 sports teams, 10 clinics and six special events each year, serving hundreds of people with disabilities from all over Michigan.

“WAS has opened the door to athletic opportunities and better physical fitness for hundreds of children and adults with physical disabilities,” says WAS Manager Maria Besta.

And because the programming takes place in community facilities, WAS improves wheelchair accessibility and educates the able-bodied population about adaptive sports and the athletes who participate in them.

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital – Mary Free Bed is a not-for-profit, nationally accredited, acute-care rehabilitation hospital. For more than 120 years, we have served the needs of children and adults – restoring hope and freedom through rehabilitation. The scope of rehabilitation services on the Mary Free Bed campus is not found anywhere else in Michigan: 80 acute-care inpatient beds, extensive outpatient programs and home-based services. The combination of comprehensive services and our exclusive focus on rehabilitation enables specialty physicians and staff to achieve outstanding clinical results for patients. For additional information, visit

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