Share This

The Transformative Impact of the Wheelchair Sports Program at Jefferson Moss-Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

Breaking Barriers & Building Community

At Jefferson Moss-Magee Rehabilitation Hospital – Center City, individuals with disabilities discover a uniquely impactful avenue for physical activity and empowerment through the Wheelchair Sports Program. Beyond the athletic competition, these programs serve a crucial role in fostering a sense of community and breaking down social barriers. The impact is tangible, demonstrating that wheelchair sports are not merely recreational—but also transformative—providing participants with a platform to redefine their abilities and defy societal limitations.

This past November, a week after competing in the Beast of the East Rugby Tournament, Patrick McCloskey completed his first-ever full marathon at the Philadelphia Marathon. In December, the Jefferson Moss-Magee 76ers basketball team finished in secondplace at the annual Dan Sullivan Wheelchair Basketball Classic. In March, we joined the Jeff Harris Curl-A-Thon, where our wheelchair athletes won two out of three matches. In May, the Jefferson Moss-Magee Eagles rugby team finished third at the National Tournament in the Third Division. To cap off a successful year, the Jefferson Moss-Magee Eagles rugby team was awarded the “United States Wheelchair Rugby Association Event of the Year,” for their Beast of the East Tournament.

Philanthropy plays a pivotal role in enabling athletes with disabilities to actively engage in wheelchair sports programs at Jefferson Moss-Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. Many individuals with disabilities face financial barriers to accessing these resources. Philanthropy bridges this gap by funding initiatives that make wheelchair sports accessible to a broader range of participants. Your support ensures that the Wheelchair Sports Program at Jefferson Moss-Magee Rehabilitation Hospital will continue to thrive, offering opportunities for physical activity, skill development, and personal empowerment.

“These tournaments allow us to transcend our disabilities,” shared Benjamin Baker, a Jefferson Moss-Magee Eagles rugby player living with a spinal cord injury. “When we’re on the court, we’re just athletes playing the game we love.” Baker’s injury occurred 18 years ago after a fall, placing him in a wheelchair. However, he found his way back to competition through the thrilling and fast-paced world of wheelchair rugby.“Anyone who experiences a life-altering injury can still lead an active and fulfilling life,” stated Keith Newerla, Community Program Coordinator at Jefferson Moss-Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. “These tournaments exemplify how we can adapt and achieve, even when faced with challenging circumstances.” Congratulations to all of our wheelchair athletes on a successful year!

On July 29, we will host the 11th Annual Tennis Benefit at Germantown Cricket Club to support the Wheelchair Sports Program. A match between some of our wheelchair tennis athletes will kick off the event. If you would like to support or participate in the event, please email

The Wheelchair Sports Program is open to the entire community of individuals with disabilities. Participants do not have to be a patient of Jefferson Moss-Magee Rehabilitation Hospital to join a team.