Schofield Barracks Soldier Recovery Unit –
More and more Soldiers are learning the positive benefits of adaptive sports at the Schofield Barracks Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) in Hawaii thanks to a new sports clinic.
The clinic allows recovering Soldiers to prepare for Army Trials in sports like wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball. The clinic offers Soldiers and Marines a chance to sample these two sports, run practice drills and participate in smaller games for some friendly competition.
Soldiers begin the program by first learning how to strap themselves into sports chairs, as well as how to maneuver, chase and pick up the ball. Afterward, the staff introduces them to layups, passing and shooting the ball comfortably in a seated position.
“For soldiers that enjoy playing basketball, but have not been able to due to injuries, it provides a similar outlet for getting into a team sport,” said Carol Hickman, adaptive reconditioning support specialist at the SRU. “It is also different enough from basketball to offer a chance to master a new skill.”
The speed at which the Soldiers adjusted to the game surprised her, she said.
“We did a few drills at the beginning that everyone got into, and then their enthusiasm for the competition was high once we started playing,” she said. “You could see people's barriers come down as they just got into enjoying some friendly competition.”
Some of these Soldiers never thought they would be able to get into a team sport again. However, through the adaptive program, they are seeing that there are different fun and exciting ways to compete.
“It is a very challenging game,” said Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Retuyan. “You need hand, mind and team coordination. Just maneuvering a wheelchair alone is a challenge within itself. It may seem hard looking at it from the sidelines, but once you sit in the chair and have a go, you will have a great time.”
Schofield Barracks SRU has a wheelchair basketball game scheduled with the Wounded Warrior Battalion West Marines on Feb. 25 at Camp Smith in Honolulu.
For Soldiers who aren’t interested in those sports, the SRU has all sorts of other activities planned like bowling, archery and cycling.
“Activities like this promote many positive health outcomes,” said Hickman. “This includes increased physical activity, positive social outlets where Soldiers can bond with others…and can provide Soldiers a chance to build up their confidence through learning and mastering a new skill.”
Since a Soldier spends so much of their time at an SRU going to medical appointments, it’s important for them to have the opportunity to participate in fun team sports, she added.
“If they find they really enjoy it, they may seek it out more, and [they form] new hobbies and interests,” she said.
The Army Warrior Care and Transition Program is now the Army Recovery Care Program. Although the name has changed, the mission remains the same: to provide quality complex case management to the Army's wounded, ill and injured Soldiers. Visit our website at https://www.arcp.army.mil