Rollin' Round the Rim Set for Today

Rollin’ Round the Rim, an annual wheelchair basketball tournament that raises awareness of the daily concerns of those with disabilities, will return to the Arkansas Tech University campus on Friday, April 16. The 3-on-3 tournament will begin with registration at Tucker Coliseum at 9 a.m.

The games will begin at 10 a.m., and the team that wins the tournament championship will earn the right to face three representatives of the renowned Rollin’ Razorbacks basketball team at approximately 5 p.m.  Entry fee is $30 per team. Proceeds will be used to purchase assistive technology for Arkansas Tech students with disabilities.

The event, which is in its fourth year, is sponsored by Russellville Medical and the Arkansas Tech Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration. “When we started Rollin’ Round the Rim, we wanted to bring awareness to people with special needs,” said Dr. Cathi McMahan, interim head of the Arkansas Tech Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration. “We want to put a spotlight on what those individuals are capable of rather than what they are not capable of.” Wheelchairs will be provided for tournament participants. Each player will receive a T-shirt and team photo.

There will be five players on each team, and there must be at least one male and one female from each team on the court at all times. Every team will be assured of playing at least two games.

A field of 40 teams participated in the 2009 event. McMahan is aiming for 48 teams in 2010. “The facilities design class in our department participates in the tournament every year, and it’s great experience because they are going to be designing places that will need to accommodate people with a variety of needs,” said McMahan. “It’s eye opening for people to see what it’s like to be in a wheelchair. Your line of sight is totally different. It makes you think about what we can do to make that experience better.” For more information about Rollin’ Round the Rim, call (479) 968-0378.