Volunteer Opportunity from Sportable
Sportable is looking for twenty volunteers for its blind/low vision running/walking program on Thursdays, July 13, 20, 27, and August 3, at Henrico High School from 6:15pm to 8pm. Sportable is looking for guide running/walking volunteers who have a positive attitude and enjoy working with high school students. Volunteers should commit to one to four sessions.
To sign up, check out this form from Sportable.
Your 7-year-old comes home from a friend’s house upset. The neighborhood boys wouldn’t let him jump on the trampoline and when one boy told your son to go home, the others stayed on the trampoline.No one offered to play something different. Your son is crying and hitting his feet. He says he hates himself. The boys, innocently enough, were afraid of hurting your son. He has spinabifida, after all, a congenital defect of the spine causing paralysis of the lower limbs. He uses a wheelchair.
We are all aware of how important friendships are in a child’s life. Research shows that children with healthy friendships have a greater sense of well-being, better self-esteem, and fewer social problems as adults. At seven years of age, children begin to compare themselves to others and they realize that friendships are personal. Kids like or dislike others because of different traits.
Oftentimes, children with physical disabilities are seen as different and are left on the sidelines. Their physical limitation may prevent them from taking on traditional endeavors like running and jumping, however, these children have the same desires to play and compete. Sportable is committed to getting these children in the game.
Founded in 2005, Sportable is led by certified therapeutic recreation specialists and is recognized nationally as one of only 158 Paralympic Sport Clubs. Sportable provides thousands of hours of sports programming each year for individuals with physical disabilities in Greater Richmond. Currently, the organization offers 13 year-round sports with the help of over 120 volunteers and 24 local partners.
“Sportable provides the skill-based instruction and the specialized equipment needed for our athletes to be independent in everything from rowing to lacrosse,” says Becky Lehman, program director at Sportable. The families served often have a long list of expenses to support activities of daily living related to their child’s disability.Lehman explains that these families often don’t have the funds to purchase a specialized hand cycle for $3,000 so their child can ride bikes in the neighborhood with their friends. “Sportable exists to fill that void in a child’s life, providing an opportunity to join a team and participate in sports, and help create a support system that will have lifelong benefits,” says Lehman.
Holly Davis, mother of one of sportable’s newest athletes, Zachary, commented on the rewards from her son’s involvement in the program. “He had such a good time at the Sportable camp. He fit right in with the other kids and was able to play. He needs something positive to put his energy into and something that will raise his self-esteem,” Davis said.
In addition to creating the opportunity for Zachary to be part of a team with kids that face similar challenges, Sportable ensures that existing sports events are inclusive to athletes with physical disabilities. For example, last March, the organization partnered with Sports Backers to provide the first official wheelchair division in the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K.
“Our goal is simple,” says Lehman.“For the coming year, we want to enhance sponsorships and local funding, and increase individual donors, so we can double the number of youth served by Sportable.”
To learn more about Sportable and ways in which you can join the Sportable team by volunteering or making a donation, visit sportable.org