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Palm Beach County wheelchair course gets overhaul

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Posted at 3:51 PM, Nov 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 18:01:57-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.-- Fred Sandberg came up with an idea to help people like him. Build a wheelchair course at John Prince Park.

That was 1980.

Now it's 2019, and visitors are still enjoying it. And after years of wear, the course just got an overhaul.

"I wanted to make it accessible for multiple disabilities. Whether for amputees, stroke victims, Parkinson's disease, whatever it might be," Sandberg said.

He added: "It could be 15 or 20 disabilities. Not only is it usable by paraplegics and quadriplegics, spinal cord injury individuals, it also can be used by multiple other disabilities as well as their partners."

There are eight exercise stations.

"It makes you feel better about yourself. It gives you something to work towards. It gets you out in the community," Sandberg said.

The course helps more than the physical body, according to Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Director Eric Call. "The new remodeled course incorporates not only physical disabilities but mental disabilities as well."

"You end up socializing with other people as well. And for any kind of person with any kind of injury, it's always good to socialize with other people," according to Sandberg.

The course can be great for adaptive sports athletes, too.

"A lot of my athletes would love a course like this. It gets them out it gets them active, it gets them connected with the community and it also spreads awareness of disabilities," said Palm Beach County recreation specialist Daniella Robbins.

"With all of the people that are becoming disabled from wars and everything else, you would think there would be lots of these. But there are none, and this is just a basic course," said Sandberg.

A basic course, decades later still fulfilling a big mission.