Services

Teams

Our teams are open to anyone with a permanent physical disability that limits participation in able-bodied sports.

If you want to participate, you must have a physical impairment and:

  • Need modification to participate in leisure and sports activities because of a physical disability.
  • Be able to benefit from participation in group activities.
  • Be alert, oriented and able to follow directions.
  • Be free of disruptive behavioral issues that would create a danger to self or others.
  • Live in a non-institutional setting.
  • Be cognitively able to participate in the program at an appropriate developmental level.
  • Be able to use upper extremities to independently push a sports chair or handcycle, or to independently propel on the ice using sled hockey sticks. (Power chairs may be used in power soccer and wheelchair tennis, based on coordinator and coach evaluation.)
  • Participants must be evaluated by a team coordinator and coach prior to placement.

 

The Mary Free Bed YMCA, 5500 Burton St. SE, serves as a home base for many teams.

Wheelchair Basketball

Junior Pacers

The Junior Pacers have varsity and prep teams based on age and ability. Competitive athletes with good upper-extremity function are encouraged to participate, connect with basketball and remain active with other children their age. 

Mary Free Bed Pacers (DI level)

The adult Pacers program offers competitive wheelchair basketball for those at least 18 years old with a physical disability. Players will have the opportunity to participate on a National Wheelchair Basketball Association Division I basketball team, a level of play that’s fast paced and fun to watch. The team travels to competitions across the country. 

Mary Free Bed Rollin' Drive (DIII Level)

Registered with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, this team is entry-level play for adults. 

Home Tournaments

Keep Up the Pace – An exciting annual tournament, hosted by the Junior Pacers, welcomes varsity and prep-level teams. Teams travel from all over the United States to attend.  

Mary Free Bed Invitational Adult Wheelchair Basketball Tournament – Hosted by the adult wheelchair basketball teams, this tournament is for DI, DII, DIII and Women’s divisions.  

Fencing

The Mary Free Bed West Michigan Marauders wheelchair fencing team is registered with the United States Fencing Association and competes with teams across the United States. This is a partner program between Mary Free Bed and the West Michigan Fencing Academy. Athletes compete in wheelchairs fixed to the floor, limiting movement of the chair. They rely on ducking, half-turns and leaning to dodge their competitor’s touches. 

Handcycling

The Mary Free Bed Handcycling Team gets together weekly to ride at Millennium Park. Races are available each season, including local and out-of-state options. This is a great way to gain camaraderie and support when training for races or to simply enjoy group riding. 

Wheelchair Lacrosse

Wheelchair lacrosse is played on a roller hockey rink or box lacrosse pad. Eight players on each side use a no-bounce ball and basketball chairs. 

The Frenzy, our wheelchair lacrosse team, includes athletes with physical disabilities and able-bodied athletes playing on the same team. It’s popular among sled hockey and wheelchair basketball athletes. 

Wheelchair Rugby

Wheelchair rugby is not for the faint of heart. It’s fast, aggressive and involves chair-to-chair contact. The sport is as physical and extreme as conventional rugby. Members of our co-ed Grand Rapids Thunder team use specialized equipment to engage in competitive play.  

Our team is open to athletes with impairment to all four limbs, including amputees. Athletes play with heavy-duty sport chairs on a basketball court. 

Sled Hockey

Junior Sled Wings

Offered in partnership by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and the Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation, this team is ideal for competitive athletes with lower-limb disabilities. Participants practice weekly and compete in home and away games in and outside of Michigan. 

Grand Rapids Sled Wings

This adult program is ideal for competitive athletes who enjoy hockey and have lower-limb disabilities. Participants register with USA Hockey, practice weekly and compete in home and away games in and outside of Michigan. 

Home Tournament

Griff’s Sled Hockey Classic – Hosted by the Grand Rapids Sled Wings, this two-day annual tournament highlights our talented adult and junior teams. Opponents travel from all over the Midwest and beyond to participate. 

Power Soccer

An exciting team sport for power wheelchair users, the game is played through drills and scrimmages. Members of the Overdrive, our power soccer team, use their own power wheelchair; other equipment is provided that can easily be attached to a power chair. 

Wheelchair Softball

The Mary Free Bed Rollin’ Whitecaps wheelchair softball team is registered with the National Wheelchair Softball Association. This sport is great if you’re looking to stay active in the summer. The team participates in the Wheelchair Softball World Series and other monthly tournaments. 

Home Tournament

Mary Free Bed Wheelchair Softball Tournament – This annual tournament is hosted by the West Michigan Rollin’ Whitecaps at the Mary Free Bed YMCA’s outdoor field. Opponents travel from all over the United States to participate.  

Wheelchair Tennis

Players with physical disabilities are coached in basic tennis skills and competitive play. Practices and games are on a standard tennis court; no special equipment or modifications to the court are necessary. 

Junior Wheelchair Tennis

Juniors practice alongside the adult team to learn drills and mobility skills, join in cardio exercise and participate in match play. This inclusive program provides practice and playing opportunities for children and teens who are full- or part-time wheelchair users. Practices are held during the summer. 

Adult Wheelchair Tennis

No prior knowledge or experience playing tennis is needed to participate in our Adult Wheelchair Tennis program. This inclusive program provides practice and playing opportunities for adults who are full- or part-time wheelchair users. Practices are year-round, and team participation includes travel to tournaments across the United States. 

Home Tournament

Midwest Wheelchair Tennis Championships – Mary Free Bed’s own adult and junior players are among the more than 70 athletes from across the country who compete in this USTA/ITF Category II tournament. 

Need Rehabilitation? Ask for Mary.