As of Friday, February 5, 2016
RENTON A new set of athletes will compete in track and field this spring as a new ambulatory division will be offered.
Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s executive board approved the move, which will include a new division for the 100, 200 and 400 meter wheelchair division at this year’s state track meet.
Athletic directors from the Sunnyside and Grandview school districts said they are unaware at this time of students interested in the ambulatory division.
Points awarded to the para-athletes will be added to the able-bodied and wheelchair athletes’ scores to determine a combined team state track and field championship in each classification.
The para-athlete qualifications, which follow the Paralympic standards, identify impairments that would qualify a student-athlete.
Apart from competing at the high school level the student-athletes with physical disabilities have the opportunity to be able to compete collegiately, internationally or at the Paralympics.
As of now eight colleges offer wheelchair basketball sports scholarships, and four colleges offer track and field scholarships.
The state activities association also offers wheelchair races in cross country, adaptive swimming and has a partnership with Special Olympics offering school activities in Unified Sports.