"Technology has caught up in every sport so there is equipment out there. We have a whole fleet of all kinds of different pieces of equipment."-Mary Ellen Whitney
Amazing developments are being made in Upstate New York to help the disabled, including Wounded Warriors, get their game on. And while technology is playing a part, it's the dedication of Mary Ellen Whitney, CEO and Founder of STRIDE Adaptive Sports that has allowed her organization to grow from its original mission to provide a sports outlet for some under-served students into its current status boasting over 8,000 free adaptive sports lessons given each year. Whitney says their numbers keep growing: "We've got about 2 thousand families that involved in about 18 different sports programs in the Capital Region, and actually we've grown into other states with our skiing program."
In addition to participants, STRIDE also attracts volunteers. Over 350 volunteer instructors are making sporting events possible at local ski resorts, pools and parks. Whitney says, "There's a place for everyone, especially if you have a little bit of passion passing on the sport that you enjoy to someone else. And it's so rewarding to work with someone and see the smiles from an entire family. It's life changing."
This is a story you don't want to miss. It's a story of rites-of-passage. It's a story of disabled veterans rediscovering their talents. It's a story of how sports transcends physical health and touches our spirits.
Find out more in this podcast with Mary Ellen Whitney:
There's room to grow! STRIDE Adaptive Sports and Fitness is adding a two building facility that is being transformed into the Share Center. The West Sand Lake location will house a multi-purpose gym and conference center.
For more information, visit: http://www.stride.org
Photos courtesy STRIDE Adaptive Sports