New Cleveland Programs
At Adaptive Sports Ohio, we continuously strive to expand our reach and provide greater access to sports for individuals with physical disabilities. This past year we’ve opened up a satellite office in Cleveland and launched programs for athletes in Cuyahoga County. We will continue to serve both adults and youth with disabilities, but a unique aspect of our Cleveland programming is that we provide distinct opportunities for Veterans thanks to funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The newly opened Cleveland office offers an extensive list of programs that includes wheelchair basketball, power wheelchair soccer, sled hockey, track & field, hand cycling, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair softball, and more. Our Cleveland athletes have the option to play recreationally or compete on one of our many competitive travel teams. Inclusion in school athletics is important for students with disabilities, thus our goal is to bring interscholastic basketball programs to schools in Cuyahoga County. We also assist schools with integrating wheelchair track & field athletes into their high school and middle school track programs by providing adaptive track training for athletes and coaches across the state and by providing racing chairs for students. We hope to expand our reach, helping more young Cleveland athletes get involved in high school and middle school track & field programs.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is important for the health and well-being of anyone, but it’s especially critical for individuals with disabilities. Individuals living with disabilities are more likely to be inactive, socially isolated, and have a greater risk of poor health than their able-bodied peers. Adaptive sports are beneficial for a person of any age with any physical disability. Sports play an important role in the academic success of children. According to the National Federation of High Schools, studies have proven that students who participate in high school athletic programs have higher grade-point averages than those who do not participate. Yet, our most academically vulnerable population, students with disabilities, have a 68% Ohio graduation rate and often don’t have access to the academic benefit that school sports provide. Adaptive sports can also be more effective than traditional rehabilitation practices for injured veterans. In an article titled Adaptive Sports and Recreation Promote Resilience and Reintegration, Dr. Rory Cooper states, “Adaptive sports and recreation promotes the achievement of higher outcomes that far exceed those of traditional rehabilitation practices. Integrating programs and activities that challenge military personnel with debilitating injuries to achieve higher goals, to extend their limits, learn adaptive strategies, encourage teamwork, and to redefine their mission in life have been successful.” At Adaptive Sports Ohio we are working to change the statistics by getting individuals with physical disabilities off the sideline and into the game, providing a path for a more active and healthy life. We are thrilled to now be executing our mission in the Cleveland community, and are excited to welcome our new Cleveland athletes to our Adaptive Sports Ohio family!If you, or someone you know from the Cleveland area would benefit from adaptive sports, you can learn more about getting involved by contacting Lizzie Goldsmith, Program Manager for Cuyahoga County, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find us on Facebook @AdaptiveSportsOhio.