Picture this! Seven-year-old wheelchair jockey Jackson Hays entered a photo of himself water skiing for the very first time–and his photo was chosen out of several hundred as the first-prize winner of Sports ‘N Spokes magazine’s 2013 “Get Out, Enjoy Life” Family Photo Contest. That’s him in the photo above–the kid with the gigantic smile on his face.
Every adaptive sport imaginable, from hand cycling to surfing to diving out of a plane (with a parachute, of course!) was represented among the many contest entries, and the magazine’s editors and judging panel chose this year’s four winners, including the recipient of the magazine’s fourth-place and first annual Participation prize for submitting the most photo entries and online comments during the competition.
Jackson won a Top End Handcycle for his outdoor endeavors! The second-place winner is Bryson Dowdy, 6, who sent in a photo of his at-bat photo during one of his Phillies Challenger League baseball games. Third place went to Christina Martin for her “Kissed by a Deer” photo, captured while she was checking feeding stations in her hometown.
And congratulations to Turning Point Gulf Coast, this year’s winner of the Participation prize–one week’s free rental of a wheelchair accessible van donated by AMS Vans!
Turning Point, founded in 1979, is a non-profit organization with several chapters in Texas, North Carolina, and California; the organization helps people with spinal cord injuries continue to enjoy outdoor activities. Though they engage in a number of different wheelchair sports, their main focus is handcycling.
“We own a fleet of handcycles that we use across the state to encourage people into the sport,” says Turning Point volunteer Al Ruscelli, who invites anyone interested to attend one of their handcycling clinics.
One of their most popular annual events is the Drum Tournament, when hundreds of participants with spinal cord injuries get the chance to land a 30-lb. black drum fish. The organization also helps wheelchair users participate in sports like ocean kayaking, sailing, hunting, shooting, boating, camping, archery, water skiing, cross-country skiing, swimming, and wheelchair basketball.
Congratulations to all the winners, and a huge thanks to everyone who entered! If you’re curious about black drum fish and how they’re caught in Turning Point’s competition, check out the video! After that, Get Out and Enjoy Life! What sport would you like to try–and why?
Sports ‘N Spokes Magazine