National Sports Center for the Disabled Interview
National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) is an organization that aims to dispel the stereotype that the differently-abled are not able to do sports, and aims to make physical recreation more inclusive and accessible.
Being disabled often comes with the stigma of not being able to do things, and sports is one of the first things most people would think about.
Find out how you can help these individuals discover the joy of sports.
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June 13, 2021
National Sports Center for the Disabled
#242 Great.com Talks With… National Sports Center for the Disabled
Differently-abled individuals are often perceived as those that cannot engage in sporting activities. This stigma has left them unable to participate in activities that would be conducive to both their physical and mental wellbeing. In this episode, we talked with Kimberly Easton from the National Sports Center for the Disabled about empowering these individuals by rethinking ability and seeing how we can make sporting activities more inclusive.
Nothing is Impossible With Adaptive Recreation
When we think about sports such as skiing or kayaking, we immediately think of them as very physically demanding activities that might not seem possible for everyone. For those that have had a stroke, a life-changing accident, or were born with a disability, these seem to be rather impossible challenges. Kimberly Easton explains how important it is to rethink these activities, and challenge the norm of “cannot”. The National Sports Center for the Disabled aims to make ski challenges, rock climbing, and other sports inclusive and most importantly - possible - for all kinds of people with disabilities, across different ages.
What is the National Sports Center for the Disabled & The NSCD Volunteer Services Team
Rethinkability and raise awareness - that is what their goal is. Programs for the disabled's adaptive outdoor recreation are taken front and center at NSCD, making activities that would be otherwise impossible - possible.
The National Sports Center for the disabled's programs including ability clinics are handled with utmost care and expertise by their team of volunteers and experienced athletes, outdoor recreation and competition are made available. It doesn't end there - since sporting events by themselves are competitive affairs, the National Sports Center for the Disabled also offers both recreation and competition program for the adaptive sports community that they are patrons of.
Additionally, the NSCD volunteer services team has a robust and experienced group of athletes that can help with giving rich experiences to those that are differently abled. With training from the NSCD in adaptive sports, whether it be in a winter park resort, in white water rapids, or climbing rocks, the National Sports Center for the Disabled makes these all possible for a wide range of disabled individuals.
The National Sports Center for the Disabled's Adaptive Outdoor Recreation & How It Started
It all started 50 years ago when NSCD founder Hal O' Leary, a ski instructor at winter parks around Colorado took it upon himself to teach 23 amputee children how to ski. It was rough at first and the children didn't take to it, but O'Leary devoted himself to teaching these kids that "impossible" is mostly just a word. Hearing his encouraging words taught those 23 kids the joys of skiing. Details about Hal's service and his passion for adaptive skiing brought athletes together to break down physical barriers and make the National Sports Center for the Disabled what it is today.
Awareness for the national state of sports and how inclusive it is for differently-abled individuals extremely important, and is a conversation that we need to keep having. The NSCD is a strong proponent of that and we as individuals need to consider how we can make the world and its many joys more welcoming for all kinds of people.
Today, the sports center isn't limited to just the adaptive ski school in the slopes or a winter park resort- now their rosters are filled up with partner athletes from different sports that are part of the volunteer services team NSCD employs, using adaptive recreation programs to help people with all kinds of disabilities finally get out their shell and enjoy life more with sports.
There are plenty of ways to help - if you are an athlete that would like to be part of the program, you can visit NSCD’s website to check out their upcoming events, like the Exceeding Boundaries happy hour. You can also donate or apply to be a volunteer. Help make the impossible possible, and bring the joy of sports to those that are differently abled.
Want to learn more about NSCD? You can subscribe to their newsletter, checkout their news section and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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