A few days after US National Canoe Kayak Sprint Championships, I had organized a SportsAbility Day. This day allows disabled veterans, and other community members ranging from spinal cord injury, amputations, to blindness to participate in adaptive sports. It was a great day, and I wanted to share this with you all.
On Saturday, August 8th, Athletes with Disabilities Network (ADN), North East Chapter and the Camden County Board of Freeholders held their debut SportsAbility Day at Cooper River Park. Community members participated in adaptive rowing, recreational and flat water kayaking, swimming, kayak football and intro to whitewater kayaking.
SportsAbility Day mentors include retired Navy SEAL and Purple Heart recipient Carlos Moleda, U.S. Army Colonel Patricia Collins, New Jersey Police Officer Michael Braxton, and officer Brandon Holiday. Mentors oversaw clinics and shared their expertise.
Participating organizations included sports coalition members, Challenged Athletes Foundation-Operation Rebound, Team River Runner, Camden County Boathouse and Camden County Board of Freeholders.
Clinics for lower extremity running, flatwater, recreational kayaking, and adaptive rowing were held at the Boathouse at Cooper River Park. Swimming, kayak football, and whitewater kayaking sessions were held at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Camden.
The Athletes with Disabilities Network North East Chapter’s mission is to promote a better quality of life for people with physical disabilities by creating awareness and offering opportunities to get involved with athletic, recreational and educational activities locally. The innovation that ADN represents is inclusion for people with disabilities to have access to weekly activities. This inclusion can lead to a better quality of life, increased confidence, and self-esteem for people with disabilities, which can then lead to lower depression rates, lower medical costs and improve patient outcomes.
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