Sports and Leisure Program - Omaha, Nebraska - CHI Health

Sports and Leisure Program

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Locations: CHI Health Immanuel

Wheelchair ice sports team The Alegent Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Center's Sports and Leisure Program gives persons with physical disabilities the chance to gain new leisure skills, explore community resources and understand how special equipment or approaches can lead to learning or re-learning recreational interest. The program provides individuals with disabilities and their friends and families an opportunity to reach new levels of independence, meet people, build friendships, build skills, improve self-confidence, and develop a sense of being involved.

Programs are offered two to four times a month at various locations. Examples of programs include: fishing, zoo trips, playhouse, baseball games, movies, martial arts, archery, hot air balloon rides, golf, etc. If you would like to receive more information or be included on our mailing list, please contact the Therapeutic Recreation Department at (402) 572 – 2276 or

Blazesports of America
BlazeSports America is a nonprofit organization introduced in 1998 which offers sports for children and adults with physical disabilities through 50 Clubs across the United States. The local Blazesports Omaha Club consists of the following organizations: Alegent Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Center, Eastern Nebraska Wheelchair Athletic Association and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Together these groups coordinate sport and recreation opportunities for persons in the community who have a physical disability.

Wheelchair golfers It is the successor organization to the Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee. Paralympians and other nationally ranked disabled athletes are an integral component in all BlazeSports programs. Serving as coaches and counselors to beginning or rising athletes, these elite athletes bring a high level of experience and knowledge to program participants. And they serve as excellent role models and mentors to BlazeSports participants.

Wheelchair curling Profiled in several national magazines, BlazeSports programs have rapidly gained national recognition. And work continues to ensure that opportunities to grow and develop through sports training and competition and to develop ongoing active lifestyles become easily available for youth and adults with physical disabilities. BlazeSports America is a partnership with the National Recreation and Parks Association, the National Alliance of Youth Sports, and the United States Tennis Association.

Power Soccer
Power Soccer is an exciting sport designed for power wheelchair users. It is a team sport played on a basketball court and requires a team of four to compete. Two teams of four attack, defend and maneuver a 18” soccer ball in an attempt to score points through a goal. Each wheelchair is equipped with a soccer guard which protects the athlete’s feet, foot plates and assists with propelling the ball. This sport is opened to all ages and gender. This is a Blazesports Omaha Event and is sponsored by Immanuel Rehab Center, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Eastern Nebraska Wheelchair Athletic Association. Practices are held October – March at the Paralyzed Veterans of America, 7612 Maple Street in Omaha. For more information contact:

Sitting volleyball playersSitting Volleyball
This sport is played from a seated position on a modified volleyball court. A regulation sitting volleyball court is 6m x 10m, and the net is 1.15m for men and 1.0m for women. Other then the court setup the same rules apply. Athletes must have a physical disability that limits their ability to play the game of Volleyball as we know it: standing up. This typically includes athletes who are affected by amputation (of the arm or leg), major knee tears, polio, knee or hip replacements, or any major muscle loss. In fact, by eliminating jumping, which can be adversely affected by disability or age, Sitting Volleyball puts all players on a level playing field and brings disabled and able-bodied individuals together to play an enjoyable sport without limiting anyone’s abilities. The local team is Nebraska High Rollers. They practice at the Westroads Club in the Volleyball Center. The season runs February – 1st part of June. This is a Blazesports Omaha event and is sponsored by Immanuel Rehab Center, Eastern Nebraska Wheelchair Athletic Association, Great Plains Volleyball and the Volleyball Center. For more information contact: or

Wheelchair bowlersBowling

The bowling program is held at Mockingbird Lanes. The clinics are held 1x/month October – March. Adaptive bowling equipment is available to increase the level of independence for bowling. Participants of all ages and gender are welcome to participate. For more information contact:

Hot Air Balloon
This event is funded by The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. The Serena’s Song is a Wheelchair Accessible Hot Air Balloon that is part of the Lighter than Air Balloon Fair held on the campus of Iowa Western Community College during the month of August. Participants must contact the coordinator to register for a time to go on the tethered balloon ride. For more information contact:

Bocce Ball
This is an Italian lawn game which is adapted to play indoors. This is an exciting game of accuracy and strategy. The athletes can participate individually or as a team. The court is measured out on a gym floor. Together or individually the athletes strategize to see how many of their thrown Bocce Balls will score them points by tossing the balls closest to the target ball. An athlete of all abilities can participate and are allowed to have an aid assist if necessary. There are ramps available if a person is unable to toss the ball with his/her hands. This is a Blazesports Omaha event and is sponsored by Immanuel Rehab Center and Paralyzed Veterans of America. The sessions are held at the Paralyzed Veterans of America located at 7612 Maple Street beginning in May. For more information contact:

Wheelchair softball Wheelchair Softball
This team has multiple organizations that provide sponsorship toward the team throughout the season, to host tournaments, purchase uniforms or equipment and to travel to tournaments, etc. Wheelchair softball is played under the official rules of 16” slow pitch softball as approved by the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) with several exceptions. The game is played on a paved surface, usually a parking lot. The team is called the Nebraska Barons and is a member of the National Wheelchair Softball Association (

Wheelchair softball The Barons generally practice once a week during the summer and participate in several tournaments in the Midwest U.S. each year. The Barons were national champions in 2003 and 2004. Who may participate? Generally, anyone with a permanent disability to a lower extremity can play wheelchair softball. Every player needs to be “classified” to determine eligibility and level of disability. Men, women, and children are invited to play on our team. For more information: or

Man golfing Back 2 Swing Golf Program

The Back 2 Swing Golf Program is part of the Sports & Leisure Program offered through the Recreation Therapy Department at Alegent Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Center. Since 1996, we’ve served many individuals with varying degrees of ability.

An assistant Golf professional conducts clinics monthly at Shoreline Golf Course in Carter Lake with, April – October. The clinics provide the participants the opportunity to be re-introduced to the game of golf after a significant injury. Many Back 2 Swing participants have sustained a spinal cord injury, stroke, amputation or brain injury.

For some individuals, it is getting over the fear of trying the game of golf after having an injury or illness. Each clinic the participants are allowed the opportunity to focus on developing their swing to enhance the opportunity to eventually access the course. A significant part of the program is the availability of the Single –Rider Golf Cart and other adaptive golf equipment including special clubs and playing aids. The golf cart allows an individual who has had a spinal cord injury, amputation or decreased balance the chance to play golf again by accessing the entire golf course, including the greens.

Participants are encouraged to continue accessing the driving ranges after the monthly clinics. For those who are ready to play on the course they are also encouraged to make tee times to enhance their play. The program will be expanded to Elk Horn Ridge Golf Course in Elk Horn and Papio Greens Golf Course in Papillion in the spring of 2007. Please contact Jena Munson at (402) 572-2276 or e-mail at

Related Links
Immanuel Rehabilitation Center
Junior Wheelchair Camp
Sports and Leisure Program Web Gallery
Wheelchair Sports and Recreation Camp - Camper Application
Wheelchair Sports Camp Brochure