Generations from now, when they retell the tale of the birth of wheelchair lacrosse, Ryan Baker and Bill Lundstrom will be remembered as the prophets. Two visionaries who were struck by inspiration on the side of a mountain and returned to the masses to travel the countryside on nary a dollar, preaching the gospel of the new sport they had brought down from on-high.
In reality, Baker, 42, and Lundstrom, 40, the co-founders of Wheelchair Lacrosse USA, did get the idea for the sport while skiing on a mountain, and they are travelling around America to teach the sport and spread the word. But as they would tell you, they are just two regular guys from Southern California who thought wheelchair lacrosse sounded like a cool idea — and that is why they have devoted much of the last five years to growing the sport.
Birth of Lacrosse on Wheels
To say that paras Baker (T6) and Lundstrom (T7) faced a few obstacles when they decided to start wheelchair lacrosse back in 2009 would be an understatement. They were not strangers to adaptive sports (Baker had a background as a competitive wheelchair tennis player), but neither had played lacrosse prior to their injuries. They had no real budget. They both worked full-time jobs. And they had no idea if the sport was already being played and what resources might be available to them. A little bit of research made the extent of their task apparent.
“We found there wasn’t a lot happening,” sa