Recently I was tuning into “Watch What Happens Live” hosted by the wonderful Andy Cohen (Bravo TV) and he had Puff Daddy P Diddy Sean Combs or as I like to call him Poppa Diddy Pop, sit down for a chat. At one point Andy asks the business mogul about the last thing that made him cry. His response and I quote, “what was that Guinness commercial with the dude in the wheelchair? Yeah that got me”. That commercial got me too Puff. All the feels.
I had to revisit the commercial on Youtube and it got me thinking about the importance of sports in our society. Whether playing or watching from the sidelines (or your couch) the excitement of the sport brings people together. Who doesn’t love football Sundays. Or if you’re in my neck of the woods Kentucky basketball is a way of life, darn near religion. This coming together shouldn’t stop due to disability. The world of adaptable sports is huge now. Soccer, hockey, football, rugby, extreme sports like sky diving, rock climbing, kayaking, scuba diving, “off roading” wheelchairs, skateboarding; you name it, it can be done.
Involvement in sports is a great way to be active and healthy, but also opens up new experiences and relationships. Studies show that adaptive sports have key benefits including:
Reduced dependency on pain and depression medication
Fewer secondary médical conditions (ex diabetes, hypertension)
Improvements in self confidence, social awareness, and self esteem
The popularity of adaptive sports is at an all time high and rising, but there’s still a ways to go. I found a stat that stated 15.5% of disabled women participate in at least 30 minutes of sport a week. Fifteen percent! Come on now ladies we can do better than that. For two years I had the pleasure of attending a camp who’s work will help in getting this dismal percentage up in years to come.
Camp Discovery gives women a safe environment to try sports and activities they might otherwise be scared to. Tricia Downing the founder of the camp was a competitive cyclist until she was hit by a car while training on her bike that left her paralyzed from the chest down. After going through physical rehab and getting acclimated to her new life, she noticed there were few opportunities for women to get involved with sports in a non-intimidating setting. Her goal was to fill that void with Camp Discovery. Located in Empire Colorado, the three day retreat is absolutely beautiful. You meet great people, possibly try something you’ve never done before and find a new passion, AND there’s massages.
Check out Camp Discovery here: http://triciadowning.com/camp-discovery/
Sports aren’t for everyone, I get that, but never let fear keep you from getting involved. Perhaps you enjoy sports but are more of an observer than a participator. If so, you may enjoy FanDuel’s fantasy sports leagues where you can compete against thousands and enter their fantasy basketball rankings. Are you an adaptable sports superstar or know any awesome places to get connected with? Comments are welcome!