Houston Matters

They Don’t Care if You’re Inspired: Adaptive Athletes are Playing for Something More

When we hear stories of people with disabilities overcoming their situations to compete at high levels in sports – like wheelchair rugby or track and field – it’s easy to use the word “inspiring” to describe what they’ve accomplished. But one professor at the University of Houston takes issue with that word. Dr. Michael Cottingham […]

When we hear stories of people with disabilities overcoming their situations to compete at high levels in sports – like wheelchair rugby or track and field – it’s easy to use the word “inspiring” to describe what they’ve accomplished. But one professor at the University of Houston takes issue with that word.

Dr. Michael Cottingham has studied the benefits of adaptive sports for the disabled and says these athletes are often playing for other reasons. Cottingham’s the director of the Adaptive Athletics Program at UH, and Paige Phelps caught up with him on the tennis court where members of the new wheelchair tennis team he’s starting were practicing.

He explains why he’s so passionate about adaptive sports and what they can do for athletes.

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