We need to go back to the year 1976 to find the first mention of wheelchair tennis, when Brad Parks - a freestyle skier who became a paraplegic after a skiing accident - and his rehabilitation partner began to look into the possibility of adapting tennis to his disability.
Tennis is one of the world’s most popular sports. Its adapted format differs mainly with specially designed wheelchairs (sometimes manual and sometimes powered), as well as the ball being allowed to bounce twice.
With a nickname like ‘murderball’ wheelchair rugby often has a reputation of being a violent sport and it is certainly one of the adapted sports with the most contact. With this in mind there are several tactical and safety issues that players must be aware of.
One of the main advantages of wheelchair rugby is that it can involve any disabled persons, even those who suffer severe injuries that affect the upper and lower limbs (spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, amputations or deformities) making it an extremely integrative sport.
Swimming has always been a prominent Paralympic sport and is one of the few disciplines to have enjoyed continuous representation since the first games of 1960 in Rome.
Adapted swimming therapy provides improved independence and safety in the water; aerobic exercise to work and tone all the muscles of the body; and strength and resistance training - all whilst offering a relaxing effect.
Sport not only makes you stronger and healthier, it also helps to improve your mood. With a host of formal federations and regulatory bodies, as well as more amateur sporting associations, geared up to facilitating adapted sports – whether you want to compete for fun or for glory – there’s no reason not to join in!
There are currently 22 disciplines considered as Paralympic sports, which can be practised competitively in the Paralympic Games - the biggest sports competition for people with disabilities at international level. How many can you name? Here's our guide to the current list.