The two-story facility, named for Drs. Brent Hardin and Margaret Stran, founders of the program, includes a NCAA regulation game venue for wheelchair basketball, locker rooms, athletic training room, strength and conditioning room, team meeting rooms and study halls. Stran-Hardin Arena is along the south façade of the UA Rec Center, east of the main entrance.
“The facility is a testament to the many people who have a commitment to students with disabilities,” said Hardin, director of UA Adapted Athletics. “It’s also a reflection of all our students who’ve been pioneers and have paved the way for other students with disabilities.
“Stran-Hardin Arena will give University of Alabama supporters a great place to watch us compete, but it also changes expectations of who we are and what we can do and pushes us further in that direction.”
Stran-Hardin Arena opened to the public during a wheelchair basketball alumni tournament on Jan. 20.
UA Adapted Athletics began in 2003 with women’s wheelchair basketball. The program has since grown to include 30 student-athletes in women’s basketball, men’s basketball, wheelchair tennis, para-rowing, and adapted golf. UA is home to six national championships in men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball; the wheelchair tennis team has won three national championships.
Additionally, more than 100 students participate in the program’s noncompetitive sports options.
Caitlin McDermott, a UA alumna who won a national championship with UA’s women’s wheelchair basketball team in 2015, said Stran-Hardin Arena addresses all of the needs of UA’s adapted athletes.
“We now have our own space, where we can be comfortable and focus on our training,” McDermott said. “The biggest addition is the weight room and having our own adapted equipment so we don’t have to worry about figuring out what machines we can and can’t use and trying to adapt equipment geared toward able bodied athletes.”