Sports tourism for people with disabilities

The popularity of nautical tourism has risen in recent years and increasingly attracts people with disabilities. Nautical tourism provides the opportunity to enjoy the sea while on board with the pleasant sound of the wind around you. This can be found at, for example, the ACY Marina.
Furthermore, diving tourism at specific centers specializes in offering dives for individuals or groups with disability needs. See (www. for information on services that are actively working towards adaptation programs which has proved to remove barriers between people with disabilities and those without. Finally, in Geronimo people are taught to float and enjoy the sea without limits.

Croatia is proud of Tatjana Varga, the first woman who despite a spinal cord injury, is a regular diver and knows all the secrets and beauty of the depth of the Croatian coastline. Tatjana Varga would be happy to give advice on destinations and prepare all those interested in the sport of diving through the association (www.hupt. hr) in which she is actively involved.

Swimming and recreation for people with disabilities have been promoted by many Croatian coastal towns through traditional marathons, which has proved particularly interesting for tourists.

A positive example is the ski club for people with disabilities „Sljeme” (www.skoisljeme. hr). PWD can also play basketball in specially designed halls and it is important to mention that particular attention is paid to tennis.
Wheelchair tennis is one of the fastest-growing sports for PWD in the world. Wheelchair tennis has the same rules as ‘classic’ tennis (according to the ITF), with the difference that tennis players are allowed two bounces and the game uses a specially designed sports wheelchair.

Zagreb hosted a tennis tournament for PWD ‘Arcotel – Residence 55 Open 2011’, which was attended by 40 participants from 11 European countries. It was organized by the tennis club ‘Sirius’ and is part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, whose primary objective is the increased awareness concerning disability throughout the world. These tournaments enable thousands of people with disabilities to participate in competitions organized at the highest level, and it is also an opportunity to provide wheelchair athletes the well-deserved recognition as top athletes. In the organization of the tournament contribution and support were given by the Croatian Association of Paraplegics and Quadriplegics.


Photography: Boris Kragić

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