July 13, 2006
Looking for a few good swashbucklers
By Susan Christensen
Health and Research News Service
JACKSON, Miss.—Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest won’t have the corner on exciting swordplay this week. On Friday and Saturday, Methodist Rehabilitation Center will introduce wheelchair fencing to Mississippi.
Pete Collman, an internationally ranked competitor and captain of the Shepherd Swords wheelchair fencing team from Atlanta, will demonstrate the Paralympic sport at 3:30 p.m. Friday in the Jackson hospital’s first floor atrium. He’ll also conduct a free clinic from 1 until 5 p.m. Saturday in the hospital’s second floor conference room.
The event is sponsored by Methodist Rehab, Ameristar Casino Vicksburg and the Mississippi Paralysis Association, and should be appropriate for a variety of wheelchair users, said Ginny Boydston, director of the therapeutic recreation program at Methodist.
“The sport is suitable for amputees and paraplegics and can be adapted for quadriplegics,” she said. “We just urge everyone to come out and give it a try because it can truly be a lifetime leisure activity. It’s appealing to young and old, and you don’t have to be on a team to participate.”
Still, if she finds enough wannabe swashbucklers, Boydston plans to develop a team in Mississippi. “The Atlanta team is hoping we’ll have a good turnout,” she said. “There aren’t that many wheelchair fencing teams in the United States, and they want some more competition.”
For information on the fencing demonstration and clinic, call Boydston at 601-364-3566.