It’s a little past 9 a.m. and Adam Holland is already jumping around, anxiously awaiting a dip in the pool. He’s learned that combining a strong kick with some hand pulls can really get him ahead of the crowd, and he can do it on his own. Swim class starts in an hour and and he’s proud to be a leader among over 20 of his peers. Adam is 28 years old and lives with Down syndrome, a disorder resulting in developmental disabilities that typically deter him from participating in activities similar to others his age. Thanks to Sports 4 All Foundation, he has no problem participating in sports and activities. Twice a week, Adam joins 20 to 50 of his peers, all people with various disabilities, in group exercise ranging from yoga to aerobics to swimming. He’s one of the most flexible people in the room and continues to motivate others with his character and excitement.
Sports 4 All Foundation works to improve the lives of those with disabilities by providing equipment, programming, and education to enable full participation in sports and activities. But, of course, the organization would not be nearly as successful without the help of volunteers. Three to four volunteers often accompany a room of Project Health participants like Adam’s class mentioned above, having fun cheering them on and sharing new skills. Volunteers are also involved in planning events, working at events, and sharing information about Sports 4 All Foundation.
Austin Griffin, a Sports 4 All Foundation work study volunteer, comments, “I didn’t know exactly how to act or how to treat them, but I thought to myself ‘They are people just like me. We all have a disability of some sort. Whether that is not being talented at sports or not being able to sing any song on key. So just treat them as you would anyone.’
“So, that’s what I did. I was timid at first, but as time went on, I became more and more comfortable. I moved from just taking pictures and videos to leading parts of the class. Now every time I go to that class, people come up to give me hugs, handshakes, and high fives. Each person has their own unique personality, and it is a pleasure to see that every week.”
If you’re interested in getting involved, check out the Sports 4 All upcoming volunteer opportunities mentioned below.
Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities:
> Project HEALTH Coach
If you have any questions, please contact the Sports 4 All Volunteer Coordinator, Anna Dannibale at firstname.lastname@example.org.