Event Gives Youth of All Abilities the Opportunity to Try Wheelchair Basketball, Learn About Adaptive Sports
COLUMBUS – A “Try It” event is designed to help youth of all abilities
learn about wheelchair basketball, and the opportunity to participate in sports
regardless of your physical and mental abilities.
Hosted by Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the event
gives participants the opportunity to play wheelchair basketball using adaptive
equipment. Attendees also will meet and learn from Ohio’s own Cincinnati
Dragons, 2021 National Junior Varsity wheelchair basketball champions, and hear
from Paralympic gold medalist and Ohio native James Terpenning.
“Events like this are an important part in increasing
understanding and confidence among our community,” said Mary Beth Moore,
manager of Columbus Recreation and Parks’ Therapeutic Recreation Program. “This
shows kids who would access adaptive sports what’s possible, and creates
greater understanding among their families and peers.”
This event is designed for adaptive athletes ages 6-17, and
equipment will be provided. There is no cost to attend, but advance
registration is required. Register online by Aug. 15: bit.ly/3wxDNN3.
Saturday, Aug. 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Franklin Park Adventure
1755 E. Broad Street
recreation program is core to Columbus Recreation and Park’s mission to engage
the community in recreational activities.
“Participating in sports
helps kids stay active and healthy, build sportsmanship and other life skills,
and connect with their peers,” said Paul Rakosky, interim director of Columbus
Recreation and Parks Department. “Every kid deserves access to these
opportunities, regardless of their abilities, and our Therapeutic Recreation
program helps make that possible.”
The event will feature
new equipment that was made possible thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Ohio
Beverage Association and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy
America. This grant will support youth wheelchair basketball, adaptive track
and field, and sled hockey. It will help fund the purchase of athletic
equipment such as wheelchairs, racing chairs and training rollers, support the
purchase of monthly passes for accessible transportation for youth athletes and
cover many of the fees for practice and play time in ice hockey rinks.
“The Ohio Beverage
Association is committed to improving the communities where we live, work and
play,” said Kimberly McConville, executive director of the Ohio Beverage
Association. “We are thrilled to be part of this amazing opportunity for
children in Columbus to play various sports, make friends and have fun
regardless of ability. We believe that inclusivity and accessibility across all
disciplines – sports and otherwise – are critical to our work to promote healthy
choices, physical activity and wellness in the communities we serve.”
The grant request was
submitted by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Foundation. The foundation works
to enhance the recreational, educational and cultural life of the Columbus
community by garnering support for department programs.
“This award will certainly help us to achieve our goals. I
appreciate the generosity of the Ohio Beverage Association, along with the
American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America, and their support for the
adaptive youth athletes in Columbus Recreation and Parks programs,” said Karla
Rothan, Columbus Recreation and Parks Foundation Board President.
B-roll and Interviews