Award is presented annually to someone who has been instrumental

Published: March 17, 2004
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Joe Thieringer, left, of Westmont receives the Daniel C. Sullivan Teambuilder Award from Dan Sullivan, right, of Pennsauken, at the recent Sullivan Wheelchair Basketball Classic tournament in Philadelphia.

The award is presented annually to someone who has been instrumental in developing competitive sports programs for athletes with disabilities.

Joe Thieringer of Westmont was awarded the Daniel C. Sullivan Teambuilder Award during the Sullivan Wheelchair Basketball Classic held in Philadelphia recently.

The award is presented annually to someone who has been instrumental in developing competitive sports for athletes with disabilities.

During the last 40 years, Dan Sullivan has had a remarkable career as a wheelchair athlete, served as an executive and administrator for wheelchair basketball teams and organizations, and served as a longtime advocate for individuals with disabilities.

In fact, for the last 25 years, Sullivan, of Pennsauken, has worked for hireAbility, a non-profit organization housed at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital that works to match qualified individuals with disabilities to job openings at Delaware Valley businesses at no cost to employers or applicants.

Thieringer began his wheelchair basketball career as a high school student in New York in 1970, playing on a team founded by Sullivan.

The team was the first wheelchair basketball team on the East Coast, and Thieringer served as captain.

After moving to Philadelphia in 1979, Thieringer helped Sullivan found the Delaware Valley Wheelchair Athletic Association and form a wheelchair basketball team – the Philadelphia Spokesmen – on which Thieringer played and coached for many years.

The team still exists as the Magee Sixers Spokesmen, sponsored by the Philadelphia 76ers and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, where Joe’s wife, Pat, has worked for 20 years.

Thieringer played an instrumental role in coordinating the team’s partnering with the 76ers.

Thieringer was president of the Mid-Atlantic Wheelchair Basketball Conference for 16 years and the Delaware Valley Wheelchair Athletics for 15 years. He also served as co-director of the 1995 National Wheelchair Basketball Final Four, held at the famed Palestra on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus.

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital also sponsors wheelchair sports teams in tennis, rugby, and softball, serving athletes from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, a founding member of the Jefferson Health System and part of the Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of Delaware Valley, is the Philadelphia region’s original provider of physical and cognitive rehabilitation.

The not-for-profit health organization provides lifetime rehabilitation and wellness programs for individuals with spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, amputation, orthopedic injury, geriatric illness or work injury.

Haddon Herald
©Haddon Herald 2004