Wheelchair lacrosse is coming to Sioux Falls this weekend in the form of a camp and clinic hosted by the North Central Paralyzed Veterans of America.
As a member of the national organization, the local chapter – with support from sponsors including Wheelchair Lacrosse USA (WLUSA), Sanford Health and the Sioux Falls VA Health Care System – will host an informational clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Scheels IcePlex. Then on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the 18 to 20 registered participants will get to play the game itself. (Registration for the clinic closed June 30.)
“We’re trying to introduce new sporting activities for our members,” said Terry Paulsen, the North Central Chapter’s government relations director. “With lacrosse being a new venue that’s offered through our national office – and working with WLUSA as well – we’re trying to get it established in the Sioux Falls area. Hopefully it will take off.”
Wheelchair lacrosse experts from the organization’s D.C. headquarters will provide the training and equipment this weekend. Saturday’s clinic session will cover everything about the game – from rules to equipment to style of play and strategy. Sunday’s session will feature a full scrimmage between two teams.
The sport has been described by its practitioners as physical and fast-paced, and could be a perfect fit for local wounded veterans seeking competition and an active lifestyle.
“We look at sports and recreation for their therapeutic benefits,” Paulsen said. “We’re trying to keep these folks active and promote new sports in Sioux Falls.”
Paralyzed Veterans of America is a non-profit organization committed to veterans research, medical research and civil rights. It was founded after World War II by veterans who returned home with spinal cord injuries.
Today there are 34 chapters across the U.S., with the local North Central chapter covers South Dakota, North Dakota, southwest Minnesota, as well as parts of Wyoming and Montana. The North Central chapter has 228 members, with additional affiliation from associate members.