We have established a multi-disciplinary Adaptive Sports Program with an initial focus on wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis, providing disability education and access to physical fitness to student-athletes, learners, patients, and the community.
The goal of the Adaptive Sports Program is to provide access to physical fitness for all people, regardless of competition level or (dis)ability, while our Adaptive Sports Medicine component will provide best in class care for these same athletes, at all levels.
"Our program will not only benefit elite student athletes with disabilities, but also provide opportunities to engage in adaptive sports for the entire student body and greater campus community."
Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation, is leading the effort and knows firsthand the benefits of adaptive sports. A former academic All-American athlete himself, he graduated from U-M Medical School in 2011 before acquiring a spinal cord injury in 2013. He knows the feeling of being able to proudly represent your institution both in and out of the classroom, and now draws on his own experience to inform his work with patients and students in his efforts to reduce health disparities for individuals with physical hurdles.
Dr. Okanlami has been partnering with stakeholders across the campus and community, and the program currently holds wheelchair basketball drop in sessions twice a month, wheelchair tennis practice once a week, and formed a Sponsored Student Organization full of interested disabled and non-disabled students, residents, faculty, and staff. This student group has introduced new opportunities such as an off-road wheelchair for adaptive outdoor adventures, and sled hockey. They have also benefited from a close relationship with Piotr Pasik, Director of MSU Adaptive Sports & Recreation Club.