We don’t just provide adaptive sports and recreation opportunities in RVA --The reason Sportable exists is to transform the lives of people with physical and visual disabilities through sport! We know that is a bold claim and for some they might question whether we can really achieve that mission. Our responses—come meet our athletes, hear their story, watch them when they are in their “zone”, ask their parents, spouses, and children how active participation in sport has changed their lives. We can guarantee they would agree that in some way a transformation has occurred. This visionary approach to our mission allows us to keep pushing forward and aiming high—just as we ask of each of our athletes!
We have a strong set of values that guide the behavior of all those who work, play and compete at Sportable:
Passion: committing to work hard, stay positive and encourage success in others.
Team spirit: the expectation that our community will enjoy a sport or activity for its own sake while upholding the highest standards of fairness, respect and camaraderie.
Ingenuity: fostering an environment where athletes and volunteers are able to reach their full potential.
I was first introduced to Sportable in 2008 while a graduate student at VCU. I was asked to help find a soccer coach that could lead the Power Soccer program in the spring of 2009. Due to scheduling conflicts that most of my classmates had the responsibility of leading the Power Soccer program fell to me. What I thought was going to be an eight week commitment turned into a three year stint as the Power Soccer coach for Sportable. Needless to say, I was smitten with the organization and its athletes right away.
In October of 2014 I took on the role of Executive Director of this organization, a role that I am incredibly lucky to have. I am fortunate to lead a team of dedicated and talented individuals that have a tremendous impact on the lives of athletes with physical disabilities and visual impairments throughout the greater Richmond community. For many of our athletes the services we provide are their only outlet for physical activity. The National Organization on Disability points out that able-bodied people cite lack of time as being the main excuse for not being involved in sports and recreational activities, but people with disabilities name lack of encouragement from community organizations as the main cause holding them back from participating. We help eliminate that issue and provide an opportunity for persons with physical disabilities & visual impairments to participate and be active. Not only does this work have an impact on our athletes, it is incredibly rewarding to our staff and volunteers.
My Sportable story is very personal to me as the organization has had a profound impact on my family. My daughter Taylor was born with cerebral palsy and uses a power wheelchair for mobility. For years she did not have the opportunity to participate in sports. This was particularly tough for Taylor because her sister, Sydney, is an avid sports nut who participated in a variety of sports while the girls were growing up.
Finding Sportable provided Taylor with the opportunity to participate in sports and get off the sidelines. She has taken tremendous advantage of the opportunities that Sportable has provided her by participating in tennis, swimming, cycling, and a strength and conditioning program. This past year she achieved one of her biggest sports accomplishments by participating in the Ukrop’s Monument Ave. 10K. The amount of hard work she put into training for and completing the race was incredibly rewarding for Taylor, and she has plans to participate again in 2015.
I know there are other potential athletes in the Richmond community with physical disabilities that can have the same experience that Taylor has had with Sportable. As a board member I am committed to spreading the word of Sportable so that others can experience the impact that Sportable can have on their lives. Our biggest goal for 2015 is to reach more athletes and bring more sporting opportunities for the population we serve.
Rock Climbing is a demanding sport that requires both physical and mental strength and toughness. This program is done in conjunction with the VCU Outdoor Adventure Program and takes place on the VCU campus.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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