Wheelchair Sports Federation | Adaptive Sports Organization
Twenty of the World's Greatest Wheelchair Tennis Players Gather at U.S. Open Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   


Written by Ryan M. Bright

Photos by Michael A. Clubine


FLUSHING, NY – Today was a "grand slam" of a day in the world of tennis as the U.S. Open for Wheelchair Tennis began in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, New York City. This is its eighth year at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and people from all over the globe came to watch their international wheelchaired heros and heroins be seeded today.

The intensity will be great with 11 men and 9 women competing this year.  Men's singles include Shingo Kunieda (Japan; 1) vs. Michael Jeremiasz (France), Nicolas Peifer (France) vs. Maikel Scheffers (Netherlands), Gustavo Fernandez (Argentina) vs. Gordon Reid (Great Britain), and Joachim Gerard (Belgium) vs. Stephane Houdet (France; 2).

Women's singles include Yui Kamiji (Japan; 1) vs Sharon Walvaren (Netherlands), Jiske Griffoen (Netherlands) vs. Sabine Ellerbrock (Germany), Marjoin Buis (Netherlands) vs. Jordanne Whiley (Great Britain), Kgothatso Montjane (Russia) vs. Aniek Van Koot (Netherlands; 2).


Men's doubles will be Stephane Houdet/Shingo Kunieda (1) vs Gustavo Fernandez/Joachim Gerard and Michael Jeremiasz/Nicolas Peifer vs. Gordon Reid/Maikel Scheffers (2).

Women's doubles are Yui Kamiji/Jordanne Whiley (1) vs. Sabine Ellerbrock/Kgothatso Montjane and Marjoin Buis/Sharon Walvaren vs.  Jiske Griffoen/Aniek Van Koot (2).

Quad singles are Nick Taylor (Wichita, KS) vs David Wagner (Chula Vista, CA) and Andrew Lapthorne (Great Britain) vs Lucas Sithole (South Africa). Quad doubles are Nicholas Taylor/David Wagner vs. Andrew Lapthorne/Lucas Sithole.

The draw had an under-20 USTA member, Nate Melnyk (Centerport, NY), pull the names. After the draw for the 2014 US Open Wheelchair Division, players, such as Joachim Gerard, helped youth from the crowd try out wheelchair tennis for themselves.

The games begin Thursday, September 4, at 11:00 am on Court 11 with quad singles Lucas Sithole vs David Wagner. Quaterfinals continue on the same court with women's singles Yui Kamiji (1) vs. Sharon Walraven, men's singles Joachim Gerard vs. Stephane Houdet (2), women's singles Kgothatso Montjane vs. Aniek Van Koot (2), and men's singles Nicolas Peifer vs. Maikel Scheffer.

Also at 11:00 am, Court 13 will hold quad singles Andrew Lapthorne vs Nicholas Taylor, followed by women's singles quaterfinals with Jiske Griffoen vs Sabine Ellerbrock, men's singles with Gustavo Fernandez vs. Gordon Reid, and women's singles Marjolein Buis vs. Jordanne Whiley.

Defending singles titles are Stephane Houdet (men), Lucas Sithole (quad), and Aniek Van Koot (women) against Shingo Kunieda (men) and Yui Kamiji (women), who are both ranked No. 1 Player of the world.

About the Author: Ryan M. Bright is a member of the Sports ‘n Spokes and Wheelchair Sports Federation media team reporting on events at 2014 US Open in Flushing, New York.  The all-volunteer media team consists of professional writers and photographers who are donating their time and expertise to showcase the athleticism of disabled U.S. athletes and highlight their world class achievements in wheelchair tennis.  Partnering with Sports ‘n Spokes, the Wheelchair Sports Federation is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for the disabled and wheelchair using adults and youth to play sports recreationally and competitively.  For more information, visit www.WheelchairSportsFederation.org.

Players unite at the draw for matches during the US Open.  Pictured are (left to right) David Wagner, Andy Lapthorne, Sharon Walraven, Yui Kamiji, Jordanne Whiley, Sabine Ellerbrock, Michael Jeremiasz, Joachim Gerard, Nick Taylor, and Nate Melnyk.
US Open Refferee, Brian Earley, announces as under-20 USTA member, Nate Melnyk, draws names for the US Open wheelchair tennis games.

Joachim Gerard:
After the draw for the 2014 US Open Wheelchair Division, players, such as Joachim Gerard, helped youth from the crowd try out wheelchair tennis for themselves.

Additional photos can be found at:
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 September 2014 13:25
North Jersey Navigators win in Iowa Print E-mail
Written by Jimmy Cuevas   


The North Jersey Navigators have an outstanding performance at the 2014 National Junior Disability Championships (NJDC) in Iowa.  12 athletes went to the NJDC and the team netted a record 131 medals (104 Gold, 20 Silver, and 7 Bronze).  They set 23 new national records; and once again placed first on the Large Team category.  This is the result of all our hard work; dedication and commitment to the North Jersey Navigators Paralympic Sport Program.  


In addition, four athletes and one member of the Navigators staff were selected as members of the USA Junior Team that participated at the 2014 IWAS World Junior Games in Stoke Mandeville, UK, August 2-7.  The Navigators athletes participating at the 2014 IWAS World Junior Games collectively won 7 Medals (5 Gold and 2 Bronze).   The coaching staff is extremely pleased with the way our team continues to improve and excel in adaptive sports and we are very proud of our accomplishments competing at national and International levels.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:17
Wheelchair Tennis Tournament in NY Has Record Turnout Print E-mail
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94 Contestants from Around the World Compete in Queens

Written by Ryan Bright

QUEENS, NY – The Wheelchair Sports Federation and United States Tennis Association hosted the 14th Annual Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair Tennis Tournament on June 5th through June 8th, bringing people from around the world including France, Japan, Canada, and USA. It took place at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, New York, where 94 contestants came in hopes of becoming champions.

In the Men's A Singles, the unseeded Russel Rodriguez (Nashville, TN) came into this tournament and knocked out the 2nd and 4th seeded players with identical 6-1; 6-2 victories. In the finals, Cristobal Rivera (Valley Stream, NY), the 1st seed, nearly ended Rodriguez's winning streak, but Rodriguez won by giving hits with heavy top spin and some that were over the head to bring the match to a 6-2; 6-1 victory.
The Women's Open Singles finals had Dana Mathewson (San Diego, CA), the 3rd seed, post up against Marianne Page (Payson, UT), 1st seed. Although Mathewson gets nervous playing Singles, she said, she laid down smooth serves that knocked out her opponent giving her a 6-2; 7-5 victory.
In the Louis Armstong Stadium, Men B Singles player, Victor Vaughn (Nashville, TN), and his prized Prince racquet went in to battle Jose Gomez (Royal Palm Beach, FL), who was unseeded, but still made it to the finals. Gomez gave a good effort, but the 1st seed, Vaughn, won it with 6-3; 6-4 victory. When Vaughn was questioned later about playing Gomez, he said "I thought [Jose] was going to beat me."

Players who won Men's C, D, Open, and Open Singles-second draw were Sunil Patel (Tallahassee, FL), Kei Usami (Darien, CT), Thomas Vinatier (Nantes, France), and Michael Foulkes (Petaluma, CA), respectively.  The Quad Open Singles winner was the top seed, Bryan Barten (Tucson, AZ). In Men's A Doubles, unseeded Atif Moon (Rancho Palos Verdes, CS)/ Russell Rodriguez knocked out the 2nd seed, Patrick Donaghey (Elkview, WV)/Kevin Green (Saint Louis, MO), in a tie-breaker. In Doubles for Men's B, C, and D, Wayne Bennet (Denver, CO)/Ricardo Corral (East Elmhurst, NY), Nathan Melnyk (Centerport, NY)/Jose Mendez (Brentwood, NY), and Johnny Tejada (Flushing, NY)/Kei Usami were top winners and in Men's Open Doubles, Phillipe Bedard (Quebec City, NM)/Joel Dembe (Toronto, ON) were top winners. In the Quad Open Doubles, the 1st seed, Gary Luker (Ancaster, ON)/Robert Shaw (Ontario, NM) defeated the 2nd seed, Bryan Barten/Kevin Whalen (Oneida, NY). In Women's Open Doubles Karolina Lingyte (Northport, AL)/Dana Mathewson came out on top.

The Wheelchair Sports Federation is a volunteer run non-profit organization that provides opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities to play sports recreationally and competitively.  For more information and photos, visit www.WheelchairSportsFederation.org<http://www.wheelchairsportsfederation.org>.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 June 2014 18:02
New at WheechairGear.com Print E-mail
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New Mobility - written by Mark Smith

“If these mobility related accessories are any sign of what’s to come, it should be a great year for wheelchair users”

No matter if you use a manual wheelchair, power chair, or scooter, WheelchairGear has a backpack to meet your need with its wheelchair backpacks. Rather than a backpack that awkwardly hangs on the back of one’s wheelchair, WheelchairGear has a backpack for your needs. All the wheelchair backpacks feature an exclusive , highly-adjustable mounting system that allows the backpack’s to neatly hang on the rear of your chair. Also each wheelchair backpack has a matching “Mini-Pack’ that attaches to the front of your wheelchair for unequaled convenience and accessibility (carry your wallet-cell phone). The wheelchair backpacks are constructed of water-resistant PVC-backed nylon, and available in black, blue/gray and camouflage. If these mobility related accessories are any sign of what’s to come, it should be a great year for wheelchair users.
Check-out the web-site and see how they can help you at: www.WheelchairGear.com
or phone !-609-653-6787

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Last Updated on Monday, 05 May 2014 17:48
NY Knicks Win Wheelchair Basketball National Championship Print E-mail
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Westchester Independent Living Center

New York ROLLIN' KNICKS ---- National Wheelchair Basketball Association Champions


White Plains NY – The NY Rollin' Knicks beat four time champions, the Dallas Mavericks, 76-53 to take the National Wheelchair Basketball Association championship in Louisville, Kentucky.  To watch the game go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiDaCVEBkJM&list=TLRDIdbbMnMj5bQj_P9aVUelk27nuVfOve 


Co-sponsored by the New York KNICKS/Madison Square Garden, Westchester Independent Living Center (WILC) and the Wheelchair Sports Federation the team went undefeated this year. Assistant coach, player, and WILC Executive Director Joe Bravo pointed out how well the team performed all season and that it all came together for them to beat the number one team. 


For Bravo wheelchair basketball has been a life changing experience.  He started playing at 19, and it was the first time he met another person with paralysis. “It was my first exposure to a peer. Johnny Johnson was 26, a Vietnam vet, and a paraplegic, a man who was disabled and able” Bravo continued “I suddenly had exposure to men who worked, had girlfriends, went out and did things. It changed my world.” 


Current team members range in age from 16-59. It’s a rough and tumble game with players having to propel their chair and shoot baskets. Every team member has a mobility disability running the gamut from amputation to paraplegia. A classification system is used to determine the mix of players on the court at any given time. The game is played on a regulation court with very few modifications in the rules.


Bravo played for a team throughout college and continued while building his career as a disabilities advocate at WILC and its Putnam County satellite Putnam Independent Living Services (PILS). He pointed out that there are more opportunities for athletes now with some colleges and universities offering Adapted Athletics Programs. In fact, one of the NY Rollin’ Knicks junior players, Fabrizio Shao, recently received a partial basketball scholarship to the University of Arizona. 


Head Coach Gerry Fleming and Bravo encourage the juniors (as the new players are called), engage them in the competitive sport, and help them to develop teamwork and cooperation, skills which can be transferred to other areas of life including employment, independent living and self-sufficiency. The established members of the team become, in effect, mentors of the young men helping them develop their skills and athleticism.


Coach Fleming volunteers his time and expertise. His players live and practice in the New York metropolitan area but travel throughout the country for tournaments, with an average age of 35 for the starting players. This year Patrick Anderson and David Eng, former Canadian national team players, joined the team. Anderson scored an impressive 32 points in the final game. 


An ongoing challenge for the team is sponsorship. Basketball wheelchairs are expensive as is the travel required. WILC recently received a Quality of Life Grant from the Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation to help purchase two sports wheelchairs. With proper support and comfort, and a lighter, stronger design the chairs allow a player to move down court quickly and absorb some of the rough contact inherent in the sport. New York Rollin’ Knicks players are strong accomplished individuals and now, national champs. For more information call 914.682.3926 extension 2103


Photo attached - Players:

From Left to Right, bottom row first -

First Row:  David Snowden, Jr., Isaiah Moore, Fabrizio Shao, Jason Soricelli, Assistant Coach Joe Bravo, Marcos Taveras


Back Row:  Chad Sussman, David Eng, Mr. Anderson, Edwin Lopez, Head Coach Gerry Fleming (holding the trophy), Christopher St. Remy, Kyle Jankowski, Faizool Ali, Patrick Anderson, Kevin Grant




About Westchester Independent Living Center

WILC is a nonprofit, community-based; consumer directed organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities and has a 30 year history of providing information, services, advocacy, technical assistance, and trainings in the Lower Hudson Valley Region to diverse and/or underserved populations.  WILC's mission is two-pronged:  to assist individuals with disabilities become as independent as they can be and 2) to work within the community to provide education, disability awareness, and advocacy for the removal of barriers. The programs and services offered are designed by, directed by, and, in most cases, delivered by individuals with a wide range of disabilities. Although the bulk of the services are based in Westchester and Putnam, we also serve Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, Rockland and Ulster Counties.  Core services include benefits advisement, information and referral, community outreach.


Visit www.wilc.org or call 914.682.3926 for more information.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 April 2014 02:51
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