This coming Saturday, athletes will gather in Mesa for the annual Arizona Paralympic Experience — an event showcasing track, field and archery events, and taking place from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Mesa High School.
The Mesa Association of Sports for the Disabled, also known as Arizona Disabled Sports, is a non-profit organization with the goal of providing athletic experience and recreation programs for those age 6 to adulthood with disabilities. Some of the disabilities the program focuses on are spinal cord injury, amputation, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, spina bifida and traumatic brain injury.
AzDS also has the Team Mesa Adaptive Sports programs for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. AzDS has also partnered up with some national organizations such as U.S. Paralympics and Disabled Sports USA to be able to offer better services to its members.
The purpose of the Paralympic Experience is for old and new members to be able to try out sporting events that they haven’t done before.
Lane Gram, the executive director of AzDS said that they just want people to come out to the event to try something new even if they are not competitive. She also said that if people don’t enjoy the events, AzDS provides other sports for those who are interested.
Pre-registration is not required; those interested in participating are encouraged to arrive at 8 a.m. ready to participate.
More information can be found online at www.arizonadisabledsports.com or by contacting Lane Gram at (480) 835-6273.
Abel, a senior studying journalism at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is an intern for the East Valley Tribune. Contact him at (480) 898-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.