A bilateral amputee races to the finish line of a track field, sporting Ottobock's Runner prosthetic feet
Ottobock sports

Active living and sports

Mobility devices to empower, inspire, and promote freedom of movement.

Summary

Active living and sports

Sports open up a whole new world of possibilities to people with disabilities. Back when Ottobock began supporting Paralympic athletes over 30 years ago, the introduction of special carbon springs radically improved athletic performances at the Paralympic Games. Over the following years, we continued to work closely with role models from the world of sports to optimize our sports products and services. New methods and products were tested – with the aim of providing better support, not only to top-level athletes, but to children and recreational athletes as well.

Today, those who look for them will almost always find appropriate opportunities to engage in individual or team sports, as well as the appropriate equipment to get them started. When it comes to choosing or using the right prosthetic or orthotic device for active living, a few tips can be a big help for newcomers in particular. One thing we have learned from sports – and this applies to professionals and amateurs alike – is that you can often achieve so much more tomorrow than you believe possible today.

Living an active lifestyle benefits our bodies and minds. Exercising your cardiovascular system, maintaining personal mobility, unwinding, and overcoming challenges – these are all good reasons for people with and without disabilities to take up a sport. But where do you begin? We've provided information and examples to help newcomers get started.

Finding the right sport

Which sport is right for me?

These days, even people who use prostheses or wheelchairs can engage in a wide range of sports. Most sports for people with disabilities are closely based on their conventional counterparts. As a result, many such sports are played in the same manner and with the same rules. A large number of sports clubs even offer inclusive sports programs in which people can participate regardless of their type of disability.

Not every activity is suitable for everyone, but when it comes to choosing your sport, restricted mobility is playing an increasingly minimal role. This is due in part to the huge technological advances in sports equipment. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from this.

Below, you will find an overview of team sports and individual sports as well as ways for children with disabilities to develop a love of movement through sports. Regardless of whether you use a prosthesis, a wheelchair, or some other device, there’s definitely at least one sport out there which is perfect for you and worth giving a try!

Individual sports

Types of Individual Sports

Athletics

Many athletics events have been adapted and use approved devices so people with different types of disabilities can participate. Athletics events differentiate between those held on the track (e.g., 100 meter sprint), those held on the road (e.g., marathon), and those held on the field (e.g., long jump, shot put). In order to compare performances more fairly, athletes are divided into disability categories when competing. Many sports clubs offer inclusive athletics training for people with and without disabilities.

Team sports

Sitting volleyball

Team sports are group experiences. Besides keeping you fit, they also have a strong social dimension. Nobody wins or loses alone. Victory is only achieved by working together. Those who train and invest themselves on behalf of a team will enjoy a deep sense of camaraderie and mutual respect. Naturally, team members are expected to be reliable in attending practices and keeping agreements. But commitment can be very helpful for people especially when they begin a sport, because it helps them integrate the new activity into their routine on an ongoing basis.

There are numerous team sports that people with and without disabilities can play together. It’s worth trying various options before you decide which sport and which team is best suited to your needs and wishes. There are various different team sports, but if you would like to know more about a particular sport or where you can engage in a sport locally, please contact your national disabled sports association.

Sitting volleyball is a dynamic game in which two teams of six play across a 3.77-feet-high net. The technique is identical to that of conventional volleyball, the only difference being that the player’s torso must be touching the ground when they make contact with the ball. Sitting volleyball is ideal for athletes with leg disabilities, as players are seated throughout the game. Players may use their arms and legs to move around, but no other devices are permitted.

A team of amputated volleyball players watch intently as their teammate reaches for the ball
Additional topics
Amputee athletes do stretches on yoga mats in an outdoor football field
Getting started

Getting started in sports with a disability

First steps are often the hardest. Listen to your body and give it plenty of time to adjust when starting out a new activity.

Two Paralympic athletes prepare for a football game in an outdoor sports field
Helpful tips

Tips on staying motivated

Amateur athletes and Paralympic stars share advice on how to stay motivated and avoid getting stuck in a rut in your workout routine.

A child with a sports prosthesis plays football in a garden
Physical activity for children

Sports for Children with Disabilities

Children should integrate physical activity into their daily routines. Sports are a great way to build confidence, friendships, and physical and mental development.

A Tai chi instructor teaches amputees different poses
The ancient art of movement

Tai chi

Originally a martial art, tai chi is a great full-body workout that helps build strength, improves balance, and promotes relaxation.

Sports products

Sports products