I was so pleased that my out-of-the-blue call to Sandy in March 2013 paid off. As member of TMA, I receive the quarterly newsletters and opened up the Jan. 2013 edition to see a picture of participants from the 2012 TMA Family camp. In addition to having TM since 1972, I work for U.S. Paralympics (www.usparalympics.org), a division of the United States Olympic Committee, and I knew our organization needed to reach all those attending the camp – participants, parents, siblings and medical staff – in to order to assist with an introduction to adaptive sports. With U.S. Paralympics’ participation at the Camp, we’d be able to share information about the Paralympic Movement and our Paralympic Sport Club network that spans across the U.S.
Currently, there are 193 Clubs across the country and this number continues to grow each year. Paralympic Sport Clubs are community-based programs developed to involve youth and adults with physical and visual disabilities in sports and physical activity, regardless of skill level. To find a Paralympic Sport Club near your hometown, go to http://findaclub.usparalympics.org. You can search the online database by location and click on a state or enter your zip code. Paralympic Sport Clubs are identified with the Sport Club logo at the top of the organizational profile. These clubs provide a variety of sport/recreation opportunities throughout the year. If after searching the database you find that there aren’t any adaptive sport opportunities near you, please reach out and let me know. U.S. Paralympics has many partners across the country including YMCAs and universities, so there still may be opportunities near you that are not currently listed within the Find a Club database.
In addition, Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt also a member of TMA, provided an engaging story on her focus and determination to become a Paralympian and world champion in wheelchair track. Check out this video highlighting Anjali’s accomplishments as an athlete, student and advocate for those with physical disabilities.
Although, I am not a Paralympian, sport has provided me many enriching experiences. Sport led me to graduate school for my second Master’s (Recreation Management); sport played a part in me meeting my husband on the ski slopes in Breckenridge, Colo.; and sport also led me to work for the country’s leading sport organization, the United States Olympic Committee.
It was a true pleasure and honor to meet the families at TMA Family Camp. There are so many opportunities these days for people with physical disabilities to lead a healthy and active life. I encourage the TM community to search out opportunities for sport and recreation and reap the rewards that come with being physically active.