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Inclusive Recreation

Wheelchair tennis participant serving the ball into play

Recreational Sports Inclusivity Statement

"Virginia Tech Department of Recreational Sports is dedicated to building and sustaining a community that fosters a culture where everyone from all abilities, identities and backgrounds have the opportunity to enrich their lives through movement. We authentically commit to providing inclusive spaces and programming that embrace and celebrate each individual’s wellbeing, while keeping their personal success in mind. We pledge to continually grow in the ways we implement inclusive practices that meet the needs of all Hokies on campus and in the community."

Accommodation Requests

Complete our Accommodation Request Form to request accommodations for one of our facilities or programs.

Partner with Us

Recreational Sports offers a wide variety of events throughout the year.  However, we are always looking for new partnerships and ideas. If you are interested in collaborating with us on a future event, submit a request.

Inclusive Practices

  • Newly offered "open" divisions do not have gender requirements for teams
  • Transgender play policy encourages participation in leagues based on expressed gender identity

  • Removed scoring differences for all sports and leagues, no longer dependent on expressed gender identity

  • Partnership with Special Olympics Virginia (SOVA) to offer numerous unified recreational activities

  • Alt text used on all website photos and buttons 

  • Closed captioning included in video projects 

  • Accessibility in design principles are applied

  • Funding is available for sport clubs or members that need sport-specific accommodations.
  • Venture Out has several elements on the challenge course that can accommodate participants with disabilities

  • The Challenge Course has a RALPH that can help lift a person in a wheelchair onto the climbing wall and other elements

  • Challenge Course is ADA accessible

  • Group exercise instructors are trained to give multiple cues to modify exercises and workouts to fit the needs of participants.  Sometimes it may help to inform an instructor before class begins to ensure needs are met.

  • Personal trainers are able to design and implement personalized, one-on-one  workouts to fit the specific needs of their clients

Facility

Pool entrance and exit accessibility:

McComas Hall

  • Ramp, wide stairs, and water wheelchair available on the pool deck
  • Jogger belts and other equipment is available for use while in the facility

  • Workouts available for swimmers available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced

  • Two wheelchair emergency evacuation areas in McComas Hall 

  • Swim attire is catered to the swimmer’s comfortability (ex. Hijab or athletic clothing) 

War Memorial Hall (currently closed)

  • Chair lift

Swim Lessons

  • Swim lessons are offered in multiple levels and formats for all ages and ability levels

  • Private lessons are tailored to meet individual needs. Including personal goals, ability, and knowledge

  • Other swim programs, such as Swim the States and Swim the ACC, cater to all levels of swimmers and non-swimmers

 

 

  • Ability to lower nets to wheelchair accessible height for the following sports: badminton, basketball, pickleball, volleyball

  • Accessible parking available (4 spaces)

  • We have all gender/single stall bathrooms available

  • Wheelchair accessible water stations

  • Baby changing stations in the restrooms

Entrances/Exits

  • Main entrance is an automatic sliding glass door

  • ADA automatic door openers located at 142 McComas Hall and at welcome desk door

Restroom Accessibility:

  • Men’s and Women’s locker room (basement Level): Each locker room is equipped with an ADA accessible shower stall with a bench and ADA accessible restroom stalls

  • All gender/single stall bathroom (main level): ADA accessible

Locker Accessibility

  • Men’s locker room: 206 wheelchair accessible

  • Women’s locker room: 155 wheelchair accssible

Equipment

  • Cable machines

  • CYBEX selectorized machines

  • Arm ergometers 

  • Resistance bands and tubing (offline due to COVID)

  • Hand grips

Other

  • Wheelchair accessible weight scale and blood pressure machine
  • Accessible parking available (3 spaces)
  • Two elevators equipped with Braille
  • Room placards Braille accessible
  • Baby changing stations in the restrooms on the main floor and locker rooms
  • Staff are trained on a wide range of EDI topics to help create a welcoming environment to all

  • Student staff training: general EDI departmental training, but intentionally training them on the places and equipment in the facility that is ADA accessible so they are knowledgeable if someone asks; Customer service training and position expectations emphasis creating a welcoming environment for all patrons; Service animal guidelines are posted at the desk for them to reference if needed. 

  • Guided tours and self-guided tours with Membership Services staff during all times

  • Title IX training for all current student and professional staff

  • Customer service - ensuring that staff create a welcoming and inclusive environment regardless of race, sexual orientation, etc. 

  • Facility Tours

 

Elements at the Fitness Park include:

  • Fitness Park - Parallel Bar
  • Therapeutic balance beam 

  • Ring station

  • Cross training fitness rack

  • 1'-0" Plyometric box station 

  • 1'-6"Plyometric box station

  • 2'-0"Plyometric box station

  • Balance board station 

  • Body curl station 

  • Horizontal chin-up station

  • Bend dip station

  • Knee lift station

  • 2 volleyball courts

  • 4 basketball goals 

  • ADA accessible ramps to the playing surfaces

  • Sports lighting

Wheelchair Tennis Recreation Clinic

Group shot of wheelchair tennis attendees listening to instruction
Team USA Wheelchair Coach Jason Harnett providing instruction
Two wheelchair tennis participants engaging in movement together while smiling
Wheelchair tennis participant serving

February 2020: The Virginia Tech tennis teams and USTA partnered to host our 1st Wheelchair Tennis Recreation Clinic.

In collaboration with the Virginia Tech tennis teams, our communities came together to celebrate the sport of wheelchair tennis in February of 2020. Joined by 100+ Hokies and community members was Jason Harnett, USTA's Head Coach for Team USA Wheelchair. Harnett has been with USTA Wheelchair since 1998 and has helped to grow and nourish the sport as it continues to gain popularity.

Participants engaged in open recreation, skill drills and a Q&A with Coach Harnett.
This event epitomizes the beauty of our community and we're so grateful to have played a role in bringing wheelchair tennis to our campus community!

Hokie Feature: Special Olympics with Intramural Sports at Virginia Tech

Group shot of Special Olympics football athletes at the SRA Turf Fields on Virginia Tech's campus

Intramural Sports partners with Special Olympics Unified Flag Football to promote training and playing together as a path to friendship and understanding. Read the full story below:

Using sports as a way to unite people throughout the community helps us to share our passions and make positive connections in an exciting atmosphere,” said Intramural Sports Coordinator Clark Stridsberg about Virginia Tech's Special Olympics Unified Flag Football partnership.

Unified Sports does just that: Joining people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team, the worldwide movement was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

Recently implemented on campus, our Blacksburg-based team hosted a tournament alongside Roanoke's Unified Team in November. “There is a lot of information, rules and plays to learn in a short amount of time,” said Coach Matt Camire.

Speaking on the benefits of surrounding yourself in a team environment, Stridsberg states the following:

“Hosting Special Olympics at Virginia Tech is a great opportunity for athletes, supporters, families, coaches, volunteers, and fans to have fun in an environment that emphasizes important skills and lessons such as teamwork, effort, and living a healthy lifestyle."

The team has definitive ambitions moving forward.

“We would love to replicate the season in the Spring as well as recruit more Unified Partners and Special Olympics Athletes to participate.”

If you are interested in joining or participating with the Special Olympics Unified Flag Football team, please contact Nancy Morehouse from the Blacksburg Special Olympics office at nmorehouse@specialolympicsva.org for more information.

Upcoming Events

HNFE 2984: Adaptive Recreation

CRN 92494 | Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 - 3:15pm | Hybrid Course

This introductory course is designed to provide you with the basic knowledge and skills to advocate for individuals with disabilities in your various professional contexts, particularly in regard to advancing opportunities for this population to play, practice, and perfect from the playground to the podium. 

Topics covered include: 

  • Models of disability
  • Ableism
  • Paralympics
  • Deaflympics
  • Special Olympics
  • Fitness
  • Adaptation
  • Inclusion
  • Accessibility
  • Advocacy

Class Format:

Lectures will be held online with in-person labs every other thursday

With Questions, Contact:

Kelly McPherson, Recreational Sports' Event Coordinator

Nikeshia Arthur, Director of Services for Students with Disabilities

 

Wheelchair Tennis Graphic

Virginia Tech Tennis has started a weekly clinic at Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center on Wednesdays from 4pm to 5:30pm. Visit the group's Facebook Page to learn more and contact for questions.