To the Parents of Potential Student Athletes.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our program. We feel this is a great opportunity for all youth that qualify for the sport to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally, not to mention the socialization and competitive components of being part of a highly competitive team .The following is a list of frequently asked questions (and their answers )asked by prospective parents to our program:
Q: Who is Eligible to play?
A: Any elementary through high school age youth with a lower extremity disability due to injury or congenital condition. Participants are not required to be wheelchair bound.
Q: Is it safe?
A: Yes: The Jr. Sioux Wheelers participate in the Junior Division of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. The Wheelers follow all of the NWBA Jr. Division rules and regulations. The coaching and management staff has a great deal of experience both in coaching basketball and working with physically impaired youth. Coach Paul Weiland started with the Wheelers 2011 – in 2012 he took the team to the National Wheelchair Basketball Tourney in Louisville – where they were runners up in the JV division. Paul both played and coached at the collegiate level and served on the Paralympic selection committee. He also is a Special Education Teacher for the Sioux Falls School District. Manager Dick Neu has been coaching and supporting the Wheeler program for over 25 years!
Q: What is the cost to participants?
A: No Registration Fees: The Sioux Wheelers are a non-profit organization run 100% by volunteers and funded through donations and fundraising activities. 100% of all money raised goes to fund equipment, uniforms, and pay tournament expenses.
Q: What if I don’t have a wheelchair
A: Chairs and Uniforms are provided.
Q: If my child doesn’t have a great deal of function/ability can he/she still play?
A: Yes: Given the highly competitiveness of the sport, our coaching philosophy is simple. We work to enhance each players skills individually to improve the team collectively. Every player will get the same amount of individualized and team orientated instruction at practice to improve their game play. Even though we play to win we also strive to ensure every athlete the opportunity to play. This speaks to our mission.
Q: How often do you practice?
A: Generally we practice once to twice a week for 2hrs from October-March. (excluding breaks, in accordance gym availability, see calendar tab) A schedule is developed prior to the start of each season that takes into consideration the schedules and time/ travel concerns of the current team members. There is no penalty for missing practice however, as a team we try to determine specific practices that we can have 100% attendance near tournament weekends to insure proper preparation.
Q: Where do you practice?
A: Currently we practice at Axtell Park Middle School. 201 N West Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 (as we expand our program to encompass players from across the state of South Dakota other alternate practice times and locations will be considered and developed)
Q: How often do you play games?
A: We play in as many tournaments as our funding and schedule will allow. All tournaments are on Saturday s and Sundays. That is excluding the National Tournament at the end of the season which is a Thursday-Sunday event.
Q: I don’t live in Sioux Falls. Is it worth my travel time?
A: For this answer we would like to turn to a few current Jr. Sioux Wheelers Parents:
"Our son played for the wheelers for 5 years – we traveled from Dell Rapids for practices and to many different cities for tournaments. I can truly say this has been one of the most rewarding experiences not only for our son but for us as well. The children get to improve their physical health, have fun playing and they get to connect with other children facing some of the same challenges they are. There is a special brand of sportsmanship among wheelchair athletes. Every player is respected for their efforts because every player understands how hard each player works – no matter what their ability level." - Rod and Peg Anderson – Dell Rapids SD
"Since starting wheelchair basket ball with the Jr. Sioux Wheelers, we have seen wonderful changes in her. She has developed more self-confidence, had wonderful opportunies-where else would she get to play basketball in the Pentagon? She has also been exposed to people, adults and kids that are just like her. The adults, parents, and kids involved in this program are wonderful mentors and examples that people with challenges can go on to lead good, happy, and productive lives. I can't say enough good things about this program!" - Tim & Maggie Fick – Laverne MN
“Thank you for making our son smile again!!” - Ross & Sheri Martin – Watertown SD
Thank you again for taking the time to learn more about our program. If you have any more questions please feel free to contact us. You will find our coaches and managers contact information by clicking on the “Team” tab of our web page.
Jr. Sioux Wheelers Board of Directors
Forms For Parents:Jr. Sioux Wheelers Player Information Form